Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Sweet Hereafter: A Recommendation

I read today that 18 people have been detained during the investigation of the mining disaster in Turkey. As heartless as it might be to move from this story to a film recommendation, I couldn't but be reminded of The Sweet Hereafter. It is a film about a tragic and fatal accident in a small town, and one man's need to make moral and legal sense of it.

If you haven't seen the film, I can't recommend it enough. It is part of a trio of Atom Egoyan films from the 1990's that are some of my all-time favourites, the other two being Calendar and Exotica. Egoyan seems to have lost his muse of late, but these earlier films, and particularly The Sweet Hereafter, are intelligent, delicate, melancholic and intricate masterpieces. I will let Roger Ebert do my bidding for me:

This is one of the best films of the year, an unflinching lament for the human condition. Yes, it is told out of sequence, but not as a gimmick: In a way, Egoyan has constructed this film in the simplest possible way. It isn't about the beginning and end of the plot, but about the beginning and end of the emotions. In his first scene, the lawyer tells his daughter he doesn't know who he's talking to. In one of his closing scenes, he remembers a time when he did know her. But what did it get him?

No comments:

Post a Comment