Film Sunday: “The Sweet Hereafter” (1997)


“The Sweet Hereafter” by the Canadian film director Atom Egoyan presents a story about the cultural aftershocks which tear apart a small British Columbia town in the wake of a school-bus accident leaving a number of local children dead. When a big-city lawyer (Ian Holm) arrives in the interest of uniting the survivors to initiate a lawsuit, it soon becomes clear that his maneuvering only drives the community further apart, reopening old wounds and jeopardizing any hopes of emotional recovery.

The screenplay is based on the novel by Russell Banks, and Atom Egoyan received Academy Award nominations in the adapted screenplay and the best director categories. “The Sweet Hereafter” won the Grand Prix at Cannes.