Thursday, February 18, 2010


February 20th, 2010

3:00 PM


Dir. Atom Egoyan (CA, 1997) 112 mins

The Sweet Hereafter is a 1991 novel by American author Russell Banks. It is set in a small town in the aftermath of a deadly school bus accident that has killed most of the town's children. Hardly able to cope with the loss, their grieving parents are approached by a lawyer (Ian Holm) who wants them to sue for damages. At first the parents are reluctant to do so, but eventually they are persuaded by the lawyer that filing a class action lawsuit would ease their minds and also be the right thing to do.

As most of the children are dead, the case now depends on the few surviving witnesses to say the right things in court. In particular, it is 15 year-old Nicole Burnell (Sarah Polley), who was sitting at the front of the bus and is now paralyzed from the waist down, whose deposition is all-important. However, she unexpectedly accuses driver Dolores Driscoll (Gabrielle Rose) of speeding and thus causing the accident. When she does so, all hopes of ever receiving money are thwarted. All the people involved know that Nicole is lying but cannot do anything about it.

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