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.

Jury motivation: Magnus von Horn’s The Here After is a timeless film that raises classical moral questions in unexpected ways that challenge the viewer. As do Krzysztof Kieślowski’s “commandment films”, The Here After conveys the mechanisms and day-to-day effects of violence with a low-intensity energy, using a camera that depicts both landscape and people as contained in deep desolation. The film’s austere visual expression is in tune with a story in which what isn’t said has the same weight as the scant dialogue. The sensitive interplay between the father and son in the film also helps to make The Here After an unusually mature debut, one that already feels like a classic.

Jury members: Jannike Åhlund, Jon Asp, Kristina Börjeson

For full production notes and high res photos of director, producer and poster see Press kit. The information is available in the Nordic languages and English.