The Sweet Hereafter

The Sweet Hereafter


Plot Summary 

In a small town in British Columbia, a school bus skids into a lake, killing fourteen children. Their grieving parents are approached by a lawyer, Mitchell Stephens, who is haunted by his dysfunctional relationship with his drug-addicted daughter. Stephens persuades the reluctant parents to file a class action lawsuit against the bus company for damages, arguing that the accident is a result of negligence. The case depends on the few surviving witnesses to say the right things in court; particularly Nicole Burnell, a 15-year-old now paralyzed from the waist down. Before the accident, Nicole was an aspiring songwriter and was being sexually abused by her father, Sam.

One bereaved parent, Billy Ansel, distrusts Stephens and pressures Sam to drop the case; Nicole overhears their argument. In the pretrial deposition, Nicole unexpectedly accuses the bus driver Dolores Driscoll of speeding, halting the lawsuit. Stephens and Nicole's father know she is lying but can do nothing.

Cast & Crew

Actors Ian Holm Director Atom Egoyan
  Sarah Polley Writer Atom Egoyan
  Caerthan Banks  Producers  Atom Egoyan
  Gabrielle Rose    Camelia Frieberg
  Tom McCamus     
  Bruce Greenwood  Distribution  Entertainment One

Additional Information

Rating 14A Running time 112 minutes
Language English Released 1997