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Sweet Hereafter, The (1997)

There is no such thing as the simple truth.

Original Title : The Sweet Hereafter
Director : Atom Egoyan
Writer : Russell Banks
Atom Egoyan
Genre : Drama
Country : Canada
Language : English
Producer : Sandra Cunningham , Atom Egoyan , Camelia Frieberg , András Hámori , Robert Lantos , David J. Webb
Music : Mychael Danna
Jane Siberry
The Tragically Hip
Photography : Paul Sarossy
Distributor : Alliance Communications Corporation
MPAA Rating : Rated R for sexuality and some language.
IMDB ID : 0120255
Official site : http://www.flf.com/sweet/index.html
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poster for "Sweet Hereafter, The" by Atom Egoyan (1997)
Sweet Hereafter, The (1997) - Atom Egoyan
 

Starring

Ian Holm Mitchell
Caerthan Banks Zoe
Sarah Polley Nicole
Tom McCamus Sam
Gabrielle Rose Dolores
Alberta Watson Risa
Maury Chaykin Wendell
Stephanie Morgenstern Allison
Kirsten Kieferle Stewardess
Arsinée Khanjian Wanda
Earl Pastko Hartley
Simon Baker Bear
David Hemblen Abbott
Bruce Greenwood Billy
Sarah Rosen Fruitman Jessica
Marc Donato Mason
Devon Finn Sean
Fides Krucker Klara
Magdalena Sokoloski Young Zoe
James D. Watts Young Mitchell
Brooke Johnson Mary
Allegra Denton Jenny
Peter Donaldson Schwartz
Russell Banks Dr. Robeson
Mychael Danna Live band harmonium player (uncredited
 

Plot

A lawyer, pursued by the demons of losing a daughter to drugs, comes to a Canadian town where 20 children have died in a school bus accident. He wants the parents to sue, to determine who was at fault, and to focus their anger on making those at fault pay. Told partly in flashbacks to the days leading up to the accident, we also follow the attorney from family to family, coaxing them to join the suit. One young teen survives, crippled. She has become the lame child left behind in "The Pied Piper of Hamlin," which she reads aloud to a child the night before the accident. Her testimony is pivotal, and her relationship with her own father leads to what she says.
 

Comments

Exceptional, 12 February 2000 Author: crashnburn1984 There aren't many films that unfold with a true grace, like a bird spreading it's wings in a beautifully restrained manner. "The Sweet Hereafter" is one of them, it is an engrossing film that doesn't rely on emotional manipulation to effect it's viewer, it tells a tale like it is, and in the end, that is exactly what makes it so good. The film studies a small Canadian town in the face of tragedy, and carefully layers a series of intertwining stories involving a handful of locals who have all been impacted by the occurence. Every character seems to have a normal life at first, but as the film progresses, it becomes clear that they do not. They are emotionally void people who all harbour secrets and lies, and as much as they want to believe what they're doing is right, deep down they know it's not. Intense emotions of guilt and grief run through them, but for unusual reasons. "The Sweet Hereafter" examines the things that surface after the wake of a tragedy, after the eminent shock and sorrow, how people's lives become so deteriorated and barren. The film skillfully uses different perspectives, places and time to explore the span of everything involved, asking why some things in the universe are out of our control, and if they happen for a reason. I was impressed with the film's meticulous structure, every frame is measured delicately to maximise it's power, and it works 100 percent of the time. From stark to striking, it's visuals work just as well as it's intellect. Ok, so Russell Bank's novel is a bit clearer, but Atom Egoyan's take on it is just as effective, if not more. Another thing that makes this film shine are it's performances, Sarah Polley and Ian Holme are both superb, both exude with a gentle sadness that genuinely convinces. In all, "The Sweet Hereafter" is a film that needs to be seen, it is a beautifully realised and haunting film that's virtually impossible to forget.
 
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Sweet Hereafter, The (1997) - Atom Egoyan
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Sweet Hereafter, The (1997) - Atom Egoyan
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Sweet Hereafter, The (1997) - Atom Egoyan
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Sweet Hereafter, The (1997) - Atom Egoyan
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Sweet Hereafter, The (1997) - Atom Egoyan
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