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The Sweet Hereafter


"The Sweet Hereafter" is a drama movie, produced in Canada. It is based on the novel, published under the same title by Russell Banks. The piece of writing was turned to a beatutiful movie in 1997 – a work by Atom Egoyan.

The movie starts with a tragic accident that shutters the whole small town. A school bus, full of different-aged kids drowns in a river, causing deaths of 7 children, all of them are known and loved in the town. Parents of the deceased grieve deeply along with the whole town, who was so small that everybody new everyone around. A lawyer Stephens approaches the parents that do not know, how to live with their grief anymore. Knowing that it will not bring the kids back, the lawyer still persuades the parents to file a lawsuit against the bus company and ask for them to cover the damages. He insists on the neglection of bus driver that caused the incident. But is there anything that can ever cover such loss?

The case gets to the court, but the problems stands that very few people survived to become witnesses in court. On of them is a 15-year old Nicole that will have to stay in a wheel-chair for the rest of her life with her legs paralized. The situation is complicated by the fact that, how the viewers can discover in the progress of the plot, that this girl was sexually abused by her father Sam multiple times before the accident. She was an inspired song- and poetry writer, well-known in the small town among the kids and grown-ups. As there are not so many witnesses to the indicent, the case significantly depends on each and every one of them.

One of the parents, Billy, insists on closing the case and tries to persuade the other parents to take influence over their kids and forbid them to take part in the investigation as lead witnesses. He argues on it with Sam. Nicole accidentally overhears the conversation and decides to take her own action. She deliberately lies to the court, saying that the bus driver went over the speed limit and is fully responsible for the accident. Both the lawyer and Sam know that the girl is not telling the truth to the judge, but there is nothing they can do. Two years later the lawyer encounters the convicted bus driver behind the wheel in a big city.

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