The Sweet Hereafter ()

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A bus crash in a small town brings a lawyer to the town to defend the families, but he discovers that everything is not what it seems.

  • Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 33 wins & 54 nominations.
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Cast verified as complete

Caerthan Banks ...
Earl Pastko ...
Sarah Rosen Fruitman ...
Devon Finn ...
Fides Krucker ...
Young Zoe
James D. Watts ...
Young Mitchell
Allegra Denton ...
Peter Donaldson ...
Dr. Robeson
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Live Band Harmonium Player (uncredited)

Directed by

Atom Egoyan

Written by

Russell Banks ... (novel)
Atom Egoyan ... (screenplay)

Produced by

Sandra Cunningham ... line producer
Atom Egoyan ... producer
Camelia Frieberg ... producer
Andras Hamori ... executive producer
Robert Lantos ... executive producer
David Webb ... associate producer

Music by

Mychael Danna

Cinematography by

Paul Sarossy

Film Editing by

Susan Shipton

Editorial Department

Chris Hinton ... color timer: DeLuxe
Janis Kanigan ... color timer: British Columbia
Joanne Rourke ... colorist: video mastering
Paul Winestock ... first assistant editor
Tai Zimmer ... apprentice editor
Dov Samuel ... assistant editor (uncredited)

Production Design by

Phillip Barker

Art Direction by

Kathleen Climie

Set Decoration by

Patricia Cuccia

Costume Design by

Beth Pasternak

Makeup Department

Gérald Altenburg ... assistant hair stylist (as Gerald Altenburg)
Sylvain Cournoyer ... makeup artist
Debra Johnson ... hair stylist
Stephen Lynch ... assistant makeup artist: British Columbia
Mary Monforte ... assistant makeup artist

Production Management

Roberta Pazdro ... production manager: British Columbia (as Roberta J. Pazdro)
Simone Urdl ... post-production supervisor

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

Bruno Bryniarski ... second assistant director
Cassandra Cronenberg ... trainee assistant director
Andy Mikita ... first assistant director: British Columbia aerial unit
Tracey Poirier ... second assistant director: British Columbia aerial unit
Mary Sylwester ... third assistant director
David Webb ... first assistant director

Art Department

Peter Atto ... set dresser
Peter Bell ... set apprentice
Larry Burkam ... art department assistant: British Columbia / set dresser: British Columbia
Peter Cosco ... first assistant art director
Darryl Dennis Deegan ... lead set dresser
Sandy Glud ... set buyer
Kate Greenaway ... illustrator: Pied Piper book
Alexandra Hooper ... lead set dresser
Mark Hunter ... propman
Keith McCully ... construction supervisor
Peter Miskimmin ... propman
Daniel Olson ... art department apprentice
Michele Witt ... photographic artworks
Jon P. Goulding ... set designer (uncredited)

Sound Department

Eric Apps ... adr recordist: Casablanca
Colin Baxter ... sound assistant
Ray Campbell ... sound assistant
Andreas Carlsson ... sound trainee
Tim J. Carroll ... stereo sound consultant: Dolby
Bernie Cisternas ... sound recording engineer
Sue Conley ... dialogue editor
Steve Copley ... foley mixer (as Steve Copely)
Keith Elliott ... re-recording mixer
James A. Gore ... foley assistant
Anna Gronau ... sound trainee
David Horton ... boom operator
Peter Kelly ... re-recording mixer
Goro Koyama ... foley artist
Bob Lacivita ... adr recordist: The Complex
Andy Malcolm ... foley artist
Ron Malligers ... foley assistant (as Ron Mellegers)
Steve Munro ... adr recordist: Trackworks (as Steven Munro) / sound designer (as Steven Munro) / sound recording engineer (as Steven Munro)
Daniel Pellerin ... re-recording mixer
Ross Redfern ... sound recordist
Ron Searles ... sound recording engineer
Greg Shim ... adr recordist: DeLuxe
David Drainie Taylor ... adr editor
Tony van den Akker ... foley mixer (as Tony Van Den Akker)
Sharon Zupancic ... foley assistant

Special Effects by

Curtis Bradshaw ... special effects assistant: British Columbia
Robert Moon ... key special effects technician: British Columbia
Teo Moon ... special effects assistant: British Columbia
Dawn Rivard ... special effects shop
Jeff Skochko ... special effects technician
Michael Kavanagh ... special effects coordinator (uncredited)
Jason Wells ... special effects crew (uncredited)

Visual Effects by

Dennis Berardi ... digital film scanning and recording: Cine-Byte Imaging Inc. (uncredited)
Jason Carswell ... visual effects: TOPIX (uncredited)
James Cooper ... visual effects supervisor: TOPIX (uncredited)
Frank Falcone ... visual effects supervisor: TOPIX (uncredited)
Sean Montgomery ... visual effects: TOPIX (uncredited)
Persis Reynolds ... visual effects producer: TOPIX (uncredited)
Craig Small ... visual effects artist (uncredited)


Marc Akerstream ... stunt consultant: British Columbia
Bill Ferguson ... stunt consultant: British Columbia
Rick Pearce ... stunt coordinator: British Columbia / stunts: British Columbia
Bryan Renfro ... stunts (as Brian Renfro)
Peter Szkoda ... stunt coordinator
Claire Webb ... stunts: British Columbia (as Clarie Webb)
Rob Wilton ... stunt coordinator: British Columbia / stunt double: Dolores, British Columbia

Camera and Electrical Department

Craig Anderl ... second assistant camera: "b" camera, British Columbia
Paul Boucher ... first assistant camera
Rod Crombie ... Steadicam operator
Jack Cruikshank ... generator operator: British Columbia
Johnnie Eisen ... still photographer
John Foss ... grip
Rodrigue Hamilton ... electrician: British Columbia (as Rod Hamilton)
Reni Hoz ... second assistant camera
George Kerr ... best boy electric
Julian Keyzer ... assistant camera: British Columbia aerial unit / first assistant camera: "b" camera, British Columbia
Patrick King ... additional camera grip
John McIntosh ... electrician: British Columbia (as John Macintosh)
Gregory Middleton ... director of photography: British Columbia aerial unit (as Greg Middleton)
Tom O'Reilly ... best boy grip (as Thomas O'Reilly)
David Owen ... gaffer
John Piva ... generator operator
Brian Potts ... key grip
David Suddaby ... electrician
Nick Swyntuch ... grip
Kirsta Teague ... camera trainee
Jason Webber ... electrician
Dale Zucchet ... generator operator: British Columbia
Jim Filippone ... pilot: camera helicopter (uncredited)

Casting Department

Megan Conacher ... extras casting
Suzanne Leslie ... extras casting: British Columbia

Costume and Wardrobe Department

Pat Blow ... costume assistant: British Columbia
Patricia Boulden ... assistant costume designer
Joan Boyko ... costumer
Alex Reda ... assistant costume designer

Location Management

Lorne Davidson ... location manager: British Columbia
Cory Kinney ... assistant location manager
Tracey Renyard ... assistant location manager: British Columbia
Darren Robson ... location production assistant: British Columbia
Matthew Williams ... location production assistant
Selina Williams ... location production assistant: British Columbia
Eardley Wilmot ... location manager

Music Department

David Archer ... musician: sackbut
Anne Bourne ... musician: cello, backing vocals
Bernie Cisternas ... music recording engineer
Tim Clement ... musician: acoustic electric guitar (as Tim Clément)
Al Cross ... musician: drums
Mychael Danna ... musician: harmonium, acoustic guitar
Kim Deschamps ... musician: pedal steel, electric bass, acoustic guitar
David Eallis ... musician: bells, percussion (as David Fallis)
Michael Franklin ... musician: shawm, krumhorn, recorder
David Greenberg ... musician: vielle
Ben Grossman ... musician: percussion
Gary Honess ... assistant recording engineer
Alison Mackay ... musician: vielle, recorder
Terry McKenna ... musician: lute
Alison Melville ... musician: recorder
Steve Munro ... music recording engineer: Persian ny
Hossein Omoumi ... musician: Persian ney
Sarah Polley ... musician: vocals
Greg Robertson ... assistant recording engineer
Ron Searles ... music recording engineer
Dante Winkler ... assistant recording engineer
Colin Aguiar ... assistant: Mychael Danna (uncredited)
Ron Korb ... musician: flute (uncredited)

Script and Continuity Department

Allen Bell ... script editor
Joanne T. Harwood ... script supervisor (as Joanne Tolley-Harwood)

Transportation Department

Denise Anderson ... driver: British Columbia
Zoe Black ... driver: British Columbia
Martin Boon ... driver
Brian Brennan ... picture car coordinator: British Columbia
Richard Chilton ... transportation coordinator: British Columbia
Paul Davies ... driver
Rosemary Dell ... driver: British Columbia
Shawn Doyle ... driver: British Columbia
Harold Felhauer ... driver: British Columbia
Mike Giles ... driver: British Columbia
Frank Guadagno ... driver: British Columbia
Al Izumi ... driver
Nancy Jackson ... driver: British Columbia
Viola Janzen ... driver: British Columbia
Janelle Kelly ... driver: British Columbia
Ryan Kosmynka ... driver: British Columbia
Herb Langill ... driver: British Columbia
Evan Siegel ... transportation coordinator
Bill Sims ... driver
Bob Snape ... transportation captain: British Columbia (as Robert Snape)
Gary Strachan ... driver: British Columbia
Andres Vosu ... transportation captain
Matt West ... driver

Additional Crew

Joan Boyko ... set supervisor: British Columbia
Shimmy Brandes ... assistant to producer
Wendy Gibbs ... first aid: British Columbia
Shirley Granger ... production accountant
Florance Krause ... production secretary: British Columbia
Martyn Krys ... production lawyer
Frank Larre ... caterer: British Columbia
Suzanne Leslie ... extras coordinator: British Columbia
Sarah McCarthy ... production assistant
Sheona McDonald ... production assistant
Beth Nadeau ... caterer: British Columbia
Eva Nagy ... flag person: British Columbia
Bill Nesbitt ... security officer
Sarah Pape ... production assistant
Rick Parker ... animal wrangler
Lynne Pollack ... flag person: British Columbia
Holly Redford ... production coordinator: British Columbia
Bill Sims ... assistant: Ian Holm
Mark Steinberg ... director's observer
Matt Thomas ... craft service
Tami Thomson ... production coordinator
Simone Urdl ... assistant: Atom Egoyan
Alicja Wicinski ... production secretary (as Alicia Wicinski)
Andrea Wood ... legal affairs: Alliance Pictures
Simon St. Laurent ... opticals: Film Opticals (uncredited)


Margaret Atwood ... thanks
Kavita 'Bad Cavity' Bhatia ... musical thanks
Jack Blum ... thanks
John Buchan ... thanks
Sharon Corder ... thanks
Lara Fitzgerald ... musical thanks
Marc Glassman ... thanks
Bill House ... special thanks
Peter Jones ... musical thanks
Victor Loewy ... special thanks
Michèle Pétin ... thanks (as Michèle Halberstadt)
Larissa Remedios ... musical thanks
Julia Tait ... thanks
Vandana Taxali ... musical thanks
Chase Twichell ... thanks
Leo Van Tine ... thanks: Merritt Search & Rescue
Crew verified as complete

Production Companies




Special Effects


Other Companies



Plot Summary

A small community is torn apart by a tragic accident which kills most of the town's children. A lawyer visits the victims' parents in order to profit from the tragedy by stirring up their anger and launching a class action suit against anyone they can blame. The community is paralyzed by its anger and cannot let go. All but one young girl, left in a wheelchair after the accident, who finds the courage to lead the way toward healing. Written by Matthew Tichenor

Plot Keywords
Taglines Sometimes courage comes from the most surprising places. See more »
Parents Guide View content advisory »

Additional Details

Also Known As
  • De beaux lendemains (Canada, French title)
  • De beaux lendemains (France)
  • Das süße Jenseits (Germany)
  • El dulce porvenir (Spain)
  • Примамливото отвъдно (Bulgaria, Bulgarian title)
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  • 112 min
Aspect Ratio
Sound Mix
Filming Locations

Box Office

Budget CAD5,000,000 (estimated)

Did You Know?

Trivia As indicated on writer and director Atom Egoyan's commentary track on the DVD, many people ask about the odd mask worn by the notetaker during the deposition scene. This is a stenographer's mask, an item which is used in real life by a stenographer to record his or her own voice during the deposition. See more »
Goofs In at least one scene, speeds were mentioned in "miles per hour". For a film set in British Columbia, km/h would have been much more likely. See more »
Movie Connections Featured in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil/The Sweet Hereafter/John Grisham's the Rainmaker/Deep Crimson (1997). See more »
Soundtracks One More Colour See more »
Quotes Mitchell Stephens: I woke to the sound of Zoe's breathing. It was laboured. I looked over and noticed she was sweating and all swollen. I grabbed her, rushed to the kitchen, and splashed water on her face.
Alison: What happened?
Mitchell Stephens: I didn't know. I was in a panic. I guessed she'd been bitten by an insect, but there was no doctor. The nearest hospital was forty miles away, and Zoe was continuing to swell. Klara took her in her arms and tried to breast-feed her, while I dialed the hospital. I finally got a doctor on the line. He sounded young, but cool. He was confident, but there was a nervousness. He had been an intern. This was the first time he ever had to deal with anything like this. He wanted to seem like he knew what he was doing, but he was just as scared as I was.He surmised that there was a nest of baby black widow spiders in the mattress. He told me they had to be babies, or else with Zoe's weight she'd be dead. He told me I had to rush her to the hospital. He was alone. There was no ambulance available. 'Now you listen', he said, 'There's a good chance you can get her to me before her throat closes, but the important thing is to keep her calm.' He asked if there was one of us she was more relaxed with than the other. I said, 'Yes, with me.' Which was true enough, especially at that moment. Klara was wild-eyed with fear, and her fear was contagious. I was a better actor than she was, that's all. Zoe loved us equally then. Just like she hates us both equally now. The doctor told me that I should hold her in my lap, and let Klara drive to the hospital. He asked me to bring a small, sharp knife. It had to be clean. There was no time to sterilize properly. He explained how to perform an emergency tracheotomy. How to cut into my daughter's throat and windpipe without causing her to bleed to death. He told me there'd be a lot of blood. I said I didn't think I could do it. 'If her throat closes up and stops her breathing, you'll have to, Mr. Stephens. You'll have a minute and a half, two minutes maybe, and she'll probably be you can keep her calm and relaxed, if you don't let her little heart beat too fast and spread the poison around, then you might just make it over here first. You get going now', and he hung up. It was an unforgettable drive. I was divided into two people. One part of me was Daddy, singing a lullaby to his little girl. The other part was a surgeon, ready to cut into her throat. I waited for the second that Zoe's breath stopped to make that incision.
Alison: What happened?
Mitchell Stephens: Oh, nothing. We made it to the hospital. I didn't have to go as far as I was prepared to. But I was prepared to go all the way.
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