Clint Eastwood and the Hereafter

by Christiane Northrup, M.D.


I have long been a fan of movies with uplifting spiritual messages. And as you’ve probably noticed, there are more of them than ever before. Although Hollywood has long used angels, ghosts, and psychic phenomena in movies—sometimes for the scare factor, of course. But today there are more and more films that focus on seeing reality through a different lens and understanding the spirituality of other cultures and religions. Of course this extends to what comes after we transition to the non-physical.

One of my all time favorite spiritual movies is Hereafter, directed by none other than Clint Eastwood. It’s a very accurate depiction of the challenges faced by those who have the “second sight” or psychic gifts. So often these individuals find it difficult to fit into regular society because of their sensitivity and because they know things that others don’t see or appreciate. If you’re looking to watch something this holiday season along these lines, then Hereafter is a particularly good place to start.

The production value in Hereafter is as high as it gets. The acting is fabulous, and the script is good, too, following characters on three different continents. Matt Damon plays the lead, an American who struggles with his psychic abilities. The movie also stars French actress Cécile De France, who decides to try her hand at writing after living through a devastating tsunami and her own near death experience. And in London, a boy struggles to reach out to his identical twin after losing him to sudden and tragic circumstances.

I won’t give away any more of this movie, except to say that the movie depicts, quite beautifully, what happens after someone has had a near death experience and no longer sees the world in quite the same way. Although Hereafter isn’t a completely feel good movie, like the holiday classic It’s a Wonderful Life, it is still very moving and worth seeing.

Do you have any favorite spiritual movies? Have you seen Hereafter? Please leave a comment here or on my Facebook page. I love to read your comments and insights.

p.s. If you’re looking for something lighter check out I Am by Tom Shadyac (also the director of Ace Ventura, Pet Detective), a documentary—and also very entertaining fare—which stars Desmond Tutu, among others. I’ve seen it four times. And it’s still very fresh! I’m also a big fan of Happy!, which Shadyac also produced. It documents what makes people happy—all around the world. And guess what? Happiness is all about community—not stuff. A great holiday message.

Last Updated: December 17, 2013

Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Christiane Northrup, M.D., is a visionary pioneer and a leading authority in the field of women’s health and wellness. Recognizing the unity of body, mind, and spirit, she empowers women to trust their inner wisdom, their connection with Source, and their ability to truly flourish.


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  1. George
    4 years ago

    I studied NDE’s for about a year before seeing this movie and I loved it but sometimes in life things happen for a reason. Wanna hear something very eerie ? After a year of research I heard about this movie so I decided to go see it . You can imagine my face afterwards when I realized my own name is George and I’m a forklift operator . No such thing as coincidences.

  2. Beth Horstmeier
    11 years ago

    My all-time favorite movie is Heaven Can Wait with Warren Beatty! It was a movie ahead of it’s time and I was ripe for the message. It set me up for a lifetime of appreciation for all things hidden behind the veil. I look forward to watching Hereafter! Thank you!

  3. Christiane NorthrupMD
    11 years ago

    I’m so happy to hear that many of you have seen Hereafter. I also loved The Way of the Peaceful Warrior– thank Lynn, for the reminder. I’ve been trying to find Resurrection on DVD– the one with Ellen Burstyn who played healer Rosalyn Bruyere. What Dreams May Come with Robin Williams was also astounding. The times they are a changing!!! May 2014, the Year of the Horse, bring even more good films!!

  4. Judy
    11 years ago

    Can’t wait to see “Hereafter” have had it on my list and now will get it done. “Cloud Atlas” starring Halle Berry and Tom Hanks is a great movie about reincarnation and the way our lives cross thur eternity and with each other. Also Robin Williams starred in a movie, a while back called “What Dreams May Come”. A movie about heaven….kinda. Both excellent and worth checking out.

  5. michelle
    11 years ago

    Dr. Northrup what do people do when they find they have this ability? I identified w this movie very much, but when my abilities surfaced it was an awkwardly and alienating experience – not to mention frightening.

  6. Lynn Warren
    11 years ago

    Thank you for the recommendation. I will look for “Hereafter”. Another great movie I like is Peaceful Warrior, based on the true story by Dan Millman. It stars Nick Nolte. Like Rocky for the Soul! A real ‘oldie but goodie” that I have always loved is “Out on a Limb” starring Shirley MacLaine. It’s autobiographical about her spiritual journey. There are so many good movies now about growth, awareness and spirituality. Many Blessings.

  7. paulette
    11 years ago

    Thanks for this info! Wow! I can’t wait to see it! I had an brain aneurysm and I changed after that! I think for the better actually! Merry Christmas!

  8. Lisa
    11 years ago

    I also thought Hereafter was an excellent movie and that Matt Damon was brilliant! By the time I got to see it in English in Italy, it was on DVD. I was surprised that it wasn’t more successful at the boxoffice… Then again, what’s successful commercially doesn’t necessarily make a film good. Great recommendation, Dr. Northrup! Will definitely look out for the other films and take the time to reflect on 2013. <3

  9. Catherine C
    11 years ago

    Dr Christiane Northrup I agree with you on ‘Hereafter’ by Clint Easwood. One of my all-time favourites! Great recommendation.

  10. Barbara Sinclair
    11 years ago

    Dear Dr. Northrup, I LOVE that movie! I saw it with my partner a couple of months before he passed away unexpectedly. I was so grateful that we had seen it together and had many conversations about the afterlife because of it. I live in NYC and we would walk to the movies every Friday night. It’s one of the things I miss the most about having him here. But I know he’s still here, just on a different plane. 😉 Thanks for the great article! I will check out your other recommendations. Love movies!

  11. Samelia
    11 years ago

    I appreciate the plug for HEREAFTER. Before I read that, it seemed I was the only one who had seen and appreciated it in the spiritual context. Thank you also for the other suggestions. I will look for them over the yearend break. XXOO

  12. Jane
    11 years ago

    I love the movie Ghost Town with Ricky Gervais and Tia Leoni. It’s about a grumpy dentist whose life is changed when he has an NDE during a colonoscopy. Quirky characters abound as he finds himself the one guy in New York City with the second sight to be able to help resolve mortal issues still pending in the loves and lives of the recently departed. It’s fun!

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