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Synopsis

When John returns home to his father after serving time in prison, he is looking forward to starting his life afresh. However in the local community, his crime is neither forgotten nor forgiven. John’s presence brings out the worst in everyone around him and a lynch-mob atmosphere slowly takes shape. Feeling abandoned by his former friends and the people he loves, John loses hope and the same aggressions that previously sent him to prison start building up again. Unable to leave the past behind, he decides to confront it.

Director's statement

I came up with the idea for ‘The Here After’ when I was preparing for my exam film, ‘Without Snow’ at the Polish film school in Lodz. I was reading documents from police investigations of crimes committed by teenagers. Among these documents I came across a story that particularly moved me: a fifteen year old boy had killed his girlfriend, because he couldn’t stand the fact that she had fallen in love with someone else. In-between the lines of his confession I felt that behind the awful act there was actually a shy, young boy. He admitted to the crime but had no idea how he could actually have done something so horrifying. He was frightened, unhappily in love and tried to make amends for his crime while not being emotionally prepared for it at all. That was the inspiration for our film. To me, the essence of ‘The Here After” is the story of a boy who after having committed murder and served his punishment is released back into society when he is still a child. He wants to move on but the people surrounding him are unable to let him do so. It is a tale about emotionally disconnected people. A quiet, dormant illness present in society and that has been passed down from generation to generation in the protagonist’s family. Finally it found an outlet in the killing of a young girl. Everyone carries a blame inside, but admitting to it would mean taking on a responsibility which cannot be avoided; a failure, which cannot be washed off.

Magnus von Horn

Magnus von Horn was born in Göteborg and studied at the Łódź Film School. He lives in Warsaw. So far, he has directed a few short films, which have won him several awards around the world. His documentary ‘Radek’ has won the Maciej Szumowski Award at the Kraków Film Festival, while his school short film ‘Echo’ received many awards, including the Silver Hobby Horse for the best live action short film, the best film award at the Munich International Short Film Festival and the Grand Prix at the Aix-en-Provence Tous Courts Short Film Festival. ‘Echo’ was also officially selected for the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. His diploma short ‘Without Snow’ premiered at the 2011 Locarno International Film Festival. He has also received the Grand Prix at the Bilbao International Festival of Documentary and Short Film and has been nominated for the Swedish Guldbagge Award for best short film. In Poland, he has received the Silver Hobby Horse at the Kraków Film Festival and the Grand Prix in the Young Cinema Competition at the Gdynia Film Festival. He is the co-screenwriter of Anna Kazejak-Dawid’s film ‘The Word.’ ‘The Here After’ is his debut feature film.

Polish-Swedish Film

The Here After combines Scandinavian aesthetics and storytelling with the emotional POWER OF MUCH Polish cinema. Magnus von Horn was born in Sweden but his film, though set in Sweden, came into being in Poland. Magnus’ filmmaking has been shaped at the Łódź Film School, which is reflected in all his short films, as well as in his debut feature. The Here After is the fruit of the friendship of two graduates of the Polish Film School – Magnus von Horn and Mariusz Włodarski who started working together during their studies, getting to know each other and each other’s working methods. The debut was supported by Madeleine Ekman who joined the friendship, adding her experience, energy and optimism. Together they created a one of a kind Polish-Swedish team.  An over-aesthetic Scandinavian world clashes in the film with Polish sensitivity, creating a new Polish-Swedish quality in world cinema. Łukasz Żal’s cinematography, enclosed in the sombre, sophisticated visual layer of the movie, enables the transition of the pain which accompanies the main character of ‘The Here After’ into an aesthetic experience. The world where John is doomed to live is meticulously scrutinized by the director. Von Horn and Żal have managed to wrap the bitter story in a soft, poetic form, giving rise to a remarkable sensitivity and a coherent cinematic language.

The Here After

LAVA FILMS, ZENTROPA INTERNATIONAL SWEDEN presents THE HERE AFTER a film by MAGNUS VON HORN starring ULRIK MUNTHER MATS BLOMGREN ALEXANDER NORDGREN WIESŁAW KOMASA LOA EK written by MAGNUS VON HORN director of photography ŁUKASZ ŻAL PSC editing AGNIESZKA GLIŃSKA PSM scenography JAGNA DOBESZ, HENRIK RYHLANDER producers MARIUSZ WŁODARSKI MADELEINE EKMAN international sales by TRUSTNORDISK