Efterskalv [The Here After] (2015)

Efterskalv
Director: Magnus von Horn
Writer: Magnus von Horn
Cast: Ulrik Munther, Mats Blomgren, Alexander Nordgren, Loa Ek, Stefan Cronwall, Felix Göransson, Wieslaw Komasa, Ellen Mattsson, Oliver Heilmann
Part of: Scope100 (last year, I participated in the Scope50 project)
Seen on: 29.12.2015

Plot:
John (Ulrik Munther) just spent two years in juvie. After his release he not only comes home to his father Martin (Mats Blomgren) and brother Filip (Alexander Nordgren), but also to his school to try and finish his last year there. But getting back into his old life is hard, if not impossible. John’s crime still resonates through the community and the only one who gets closer to him again is Malin (Loa Ek) who only recently moved to town and only ever heard rumors about John.

Efterskalv tells a touching story about an extremely difficult topic in a very sensitive manner. I was very much impressed by it.

efterskalv

Watching the film I was reminded of DeUsynlige that I saw a few years ago. Both tackel a similar topic, though in different ways, in an intense way that will probably stick with me for a very long time. It certainly made me think, wondering what I would do if I was a part of that community.

Generally the claustrophobic closed-off-ness of small cities was very clearly set up. If John doesn’t want to uproot his entire normality, plus that of his family, there is only this school. There is only this supermarket where running into people from his past is absolutely inevitable. Not that John tries to evade the past. In fact, he continuously seeks it out, probably in an attempt to make sense of his own deed, to work through the trauma he caused himself.

efterskalv1His crime is the thing that the film least concerns itself with – it is mostly important as a trigger and not as an event in itself. I am a little torn about that as I was curious to get a little more background about it and the decision to release him after two years. But in the end it isn’t that important to the story the film tells. And we do get at least some info about it (which I’m trying not to spoil that’s why I’m being so vague), delivered in one of Ulirk Munther’s strongest acting moments in a generally impressive performance.

Horn manages to get good performances from everyone, packages the entire thing in beautiful cinematography and with good pacing. That is a feat in itself but particularly for a first feature film. I can only draw my hat.

efterskalv2Summarizing: Excellent.

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