Actions we take in anger can have enormous consequences on the rest of our lives. Arguments around whether prison works, rehabilitation, second chances and if those who’ve served their time should be allowed to integrate back into their community have captivated film-makers for decades. Magnus von Horn’s début film, The Here After, focusses on the latter and is a minimalist tale set in a rural Swedish community.
John (Ulrik Munther) returns to his community after serving time for murdering a girl at his school, moving back in with his controlling father (Mats Blomgren) and younger brother. He’s determined to get his life back on track, but his best friend Kim (Oliver Heilmann) and fellow pupils are much less keen on the idea. Shunned by his peers, he finds companionship with Malin (Loa Ek) who sees the good in him, but events from the past are never too far away.
Featuring a brilliant central performance from Ulrik Munther, The Here After is an impressive first foray into directing from Magnus von Horn. Spanning from younger brother Filip (Alexander Nordgren) to their grandfather, there are no female members of the family and that gap casts a heavy pall upon all of them. The narrative isn’t told in a linear fashion so we only discovers snippets of what happened as events play-out. Isolation is the one persistent theme and The Here After will stay with you long after the credits roll.
The Here After is out in cinemas on Friday.