The Here After

2015 [SWEDISH]


IMDb Rating 6.4 10 1459

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Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN
October 18, 2022 at 08:26 PM

Top cast

935.43 MB
Swedish 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 41 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by t-dooley-69-386916 7 / 10

Rather Good Swedish Drama

John has committed a crime but being a juvenile he is only sent away to detention for two years. On his release he returns to his home, father and younger brother Filip. The crime he has committed is one that is too much for the local community and more over his school companions to bear with whom he wishes to remain. This is a community long on memory and short on forgiveness.

Things change when he meets a new girl who has, seemingly, been untouched by his past behaviour and it looks like he might get a second chance. What follows is the slow creeping to the inevitable and desperate acts of a community and family in crisis.

Now that is really well made the acting is excellent and the production values are really high too. It is the story that pulls you along but that only works because the acting is soo convincing and compelling. This is one that is easily recommended to anyone who likes Nordic Noir or even a good teen drama.

Reviewed by rubenm 8 / 10

The willingness to forgive

The moral dilemma this film is about, is excellently summed up by a small piece of conversation, in one of the first scenes. Teenager John enters a classroom, and several students start protesting and walking out. Teacher: 'Everybody has a right to a second chance'. Student: 'Everybody has a right to live'. For the attentive viewer, at that moment it becomes clear that John might have committed a murder. Later on, several scenes help understanding what exactly happened. The film essentially is about forgiving, or more precise about the willingness to forgive. The interesting thing is that the viewer at first is inclined to sympathize with John, who seems to be the victim of ruthless rejection by the community. But later on, it becomes clear that in reality John is a hopeless case, a socially inept person who makes things impossible for everyone around him. Above all for his father, who also has to cope with John's younger brother and his stubborn grandfather.

Apart from posing a moral dilemma, the film also has an interesting father-son dimension. It shows how difficult it can be for a parent to love a child that has severe psychological problems. At times, the film reminded me of Xavier Dolan's 'Mommy' and Lynne Ramsay's 'We Need To Talk About Kevin'. Both films explore the same theme, and 'The Here After' can easily stand next to them.

One very important element in the film is the camera work. It is done by Lukasz Zal, who also contributed to the stunning cinematography of the Polish film 'Ida'. The movie is mostly filmed by fixed cameras, and the image doesn't move even if the action sometimes shifts out of the camera frame. This gives the film something special, as if the awkward way the characters interact, is echoed by the immovable images.

By the way: I didn't quite understand the title 'The Here After', which I associate with life after death. Apparently, the original Swedish title 'Efterskalv' means 'Aftershock', for example in the context of an earthquake. It makes me wonder why the English title is so much different.

Reviewed by JvH48 6 / 10

We are taught there is always a time to forgive and forget. Easy for us to say. Dramatic developments clearly demonstrate this

Saw this at the Rotterdam film festival (IFFR) 2016. I sat down fully in the mood to sympathize with John, given the synopsis. Our education has taught us that there is always a time to forgive and forget. Apparently the village is not ready for that, maybe just not open-minded enough. They want to uphold their defiant attitude, and don't offer John the slightest leeway to let him show he has learned from the institute where he stayed for several years. But it is easy for us to say from our comfy chair. My perspective changed gradually throughout the developments of the story.

At first, on his positive side, John does not defend himself from physical assaults or threats. Against his basic instincts he shows a strong will to prevent any cause to be expelled from school or sent back to jail. It takes some time for us to understand why he is stonewalled by his class mates, while the past is gradually revealed in bits and pieces. Yet, the unwelcoming attitude of the villagers seems overly harsh from the very outset, all things considered.

On his negative side, John's wish to return to his former school is challenging everyone involved, and it can be deemed ill-advised to begin with. Moreover, his return and non-acceptance by his peers also influences domestic relationships with his father and brother. There is no mother, and it surprised me that we don't get to know how this came about. Maybe it was irrelevant for the plot anyway. On the other hand, it could have made the story less one-dimensional. In the given situation the father has to cope on his own. A mother, of even a step mother, could have added some extra flesh to the domestic situation and the interactions with the outside world.

Later on, my attitude towards John changed to the negative side, along with a similar but more abrupt attitude change by his girlfriend. It happens all of a sudden, in a scene that clearly demonstrates John as a loose cannon and hot headed. In a later scene at the school canteen his girlfriend stated "you scare the hell out of everyone here", at the same time keeping him at arm's length, even unwilling to jointly eat their lunch. Another important protagonist is the school director. She seems a bit soft and very politically correct in the beginning. However, further to the finale, she demonstrates a firm position and a clear policy. She is not understood by everyone around, the majority of whom did not want to blame the fellow pupils, everyone being all too hasty to easily shift all the blame on John.

All in all, the synopsis had put me on the wrong foot by maneuvering me in the theoretically correct position that there always comes a time to forgive and forget, better late than never. The dramatic developments along the story line caused a change of (my) heart, and the script as such did a fine job of triggering this drastic 180 degrees change. On the other hand, the underlying reason that John does not receive a warm welcome is a bit one-dimensional, more than strictly necessary. I think that an elaborated domestic situation could have made a more colorful picture, for example by adding a (step)mother to include a bit extra tension due to some triangular father/mother/son controversies.

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