Though many people will probably see “After the End” as a somber look at the end of life, it is in reality a very cathartic look at how death can sometimes be the beginning of a new stage in life. “After the End” is an emotional and brutally heartbreaking look at loss, and how much we’ve all come to fear death and view it as a totality. Who among us hasn’t lost a loved one in our lives? Every single one of us has suffered at least the loss of a pet that has greatly affected us and caused us to re-think and approach the rest of our days in a new respect.
Director Andrew Morgan is a man who has experienced the terrible loss of his dad after an accident during a bike ride proved fatal. Though Morgan is a man with a full life, the terrible death of his role model causes him to take a second look at everything he’s ever learned, as well as question the idea of religion and the afterlife. “After the End” covers just about every aspect of the grieving process and the idea of mourning, as well as our fear of confronting our grief. Morgan interviews many renowned psychiatrists and doctors, all of whom explain how once upon a time we respected death and celebrated it.
With our immortality obsessed society, we try to dodge it at every turn, which has made it nearly impossible for us to process and cope with the loss of our loved ones. The explanation of how parlors, once used to visit our dead before burial, transformed in to “living” rooms post-1917 is a mind blowing indication of how much we’ve mentally devolved in our relationship with life and death. Morgan helps others by asking them to recollect losing their loved ones, thus allowing him to come to terms once and for all with losing his dad. The individuals featured discuss losing their loved one in a senseless car crash, old age, and terminal illness. They also sift through the constantly infuriating clichés handed to the grief stricken that is ultimately counter productive to coming to terms with the ones that have passed.
As well, Morgan subtly confronts how religious interaction can also hurt mourners. When you listen to the utterly gut wrenching story of a mother who lost her two year old daughter after a choking accident involving apple slices, you’ll be prone to questioning the idea of a conscious deity and how quickly a life can end so unfairly. “After the End” is a rough and emotionally grueling film, but one that also explores how beautiful life can be if we give it a chance, and how sometimes we can put ourselves together even after loss has broken us. Morgan digs deep in to sadness of death, but also takes time out to show how life can be rewarding and fulfilling. Andrew Morgan’s film should be seen by anyone and everyone whose ever experienced a loss, be it a child, a parent, or a beloved pet.