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Aftermath

Director: Paprika Steen

Denmark| 2004. English subtitles. Colour. Dolby digital stereo. 104 min.


Young professional couple Britt (Sofie Grabøl) and Claes (Michael Birkkjær) lost their daughter several months ago in a traffic accident. Estranged by grief, each tries to deal with the loss in separate ways. Unable to talk with anyone about her pain, Britt throws herself into her social work. Although Claes talks almost incessantly about his daughter’s death, he gains little relief, believing no-one can understand how he feels. Forced to take compassionate leave because of ‘inappropriate behaviour’ at work, he can confront his grief is by taking revenge on others. Aftermath has an ice-cool minimalist look, with a raw emotional heart. At once starkly stylish and yet deeply moving, it is an honest, intelligent and considered attempt to show some of the more unpleasant facets of grief. First-time director Paprika Steen (familiar to many as an actress in Open Hearts and Festen) adopts an innovative and confident visual style, creating a powerful sense of isolation, pain and foreboding.

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