After Life is a snapshot look behind the closed doors of a funeral home in Auckland, New Zealand.

Its an unobtrusive view into a world where death is an everyday normal occurence, its a place of business and work showing the intimate interaction between staff and customers.

I like how the camera sits back, while still shots capture this fascinating and sometimes morbid environment.

Its a world that can feel sterile, also to some extent cold, everything has a process, even passing through to the “other side” it seems.

There are no candid camera interviews, just the “fly on the wall” shots while the camera feels ‘respectful’ the staff also working there portray this.

This documentary captures the mediative silence around death, we elegantly view the preparation of a body, but also see life, as the title states, ‘After Life’ .

Through the people behind these closed doors, a shot that stands out for me is a woman employee building a coffin, she is alone in a room full of coffins neatly stacked, with pop like music playing in the background.

At first glance it is a task she is just doing, her job.  No emotion, I nearly missed noticing her foot is tapping away to the music.

That shot summarises for me in a beautifully quiet way, the impression of this delightfully well made Short film, ‘After Life’.

Doc Edge screens the best international and homegrown documentaries from 10 – 21 May in Wellington, and 24 May – 5 June in Auckland. For more info check out