It’s a question we all, at some point, have considered. What happens after death? Death is something we all share because we will all die one day. The documentary "After Death" by Angel Studios, written and directed by Stephen Gray and Chris Radtke, is a thought-provoking attempt to portray the various experiences of those who have been on the brink of death. The film attempts to answer the unanswerable question: ‘What happens after we die?’
Although criticized as “religious propaganda”, the documentary combines the perspectives of ordinary people who had near death experiences, doctors and scientists who have thoroughly studied the concept, and even skeptics of an after-life. It’s a well-balanced presentation of life’s greatest question. If you are looking for a roadmap of what exactly will happen when you die, this film will disappoint you because there are no specific sequences of events for anyone. The individuals that had these occurrences have aspects of their experience in common. However, there are differences with them. Their experiences were specific to them. God is specific to us.
One thing the documentary does well is provide a balanced perspective, including the view of those who had heavenly encounters as well as hell. It shows these near-death experiences have happened across languages, borders, and backgrounds. Those experiencing these near-death occurrences are not confined to the United States but are all over the world: including Chili, France, and the United Kingdom. The film takes you through multiple generations, dating back to the time of Plato’s writing about a near-death experience.
Regardless of if the experience was of heaven or hell, the individuals all say it is impossible to describe in our limited language and vocabulary. Those who experienced heaven use words such as “alive”, “free”, “peaceful,” “love”, and “color”. Those experiencing hell describe it as a “black tunnel”, “bottomless pit”, and “no light”.
In I John 1:5-9, we are told “God is light” and “in him there is no darkness at all”. The light radiating in these heavenly experiences is the light of God. It’s the light of love. The absence of light in the hell experiences is the absence of God. The absence of God’s love.
The message of the film is clear. There is certainly life after death. The life after death is about love. I John 4:16 tells us, “God is love”. The afterlife is about the presence or absence of love. It’s about the presence or absence of God.
There are no descriptions of streets made of gold or golden gates with St. Peter standing guard. The descriptions are much more powerful, eye-opening, and cause more contemplation about what happens when you take your last breath. It’s a must see for everyone, skeptics, and believers alike. Religious propaganda? Perhaps. But, it would be foolish not to view this documentary and consider the question it leaves you asking: what happens after you die?