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The Aftermath

James Kent

Welsh novelist Rhidian Brook's family history handed him The Aftermath more or less on a plate. His grandfather, Walter Brook, took the unusual decision to share his requisitioned house with the owners, rather than dispossessing them, thus sparking a story of intrigue, atmosphere and longing. With a screenplay by Joe Shrapnel and Anna Waterhouse (the team behind Race) this steamy love triangle is brought to the big screen by director James Kent (Testament of Youth).

"...enmity and grief give way to passion and betrayal."

The setting is post-war Germany in 1946, where Rachael Morgan (Keira Knightley) arrives in the ruins of Hamburg. Reunited with her husband Lewis (Lawless’ Jason Clarke), a British colonel charged with rebuilding the shattered city, they set off for their new home. Rachael is stunned to discover Lewis has decided that they will share their house with its previous owners, a German widower (Alexander Skarsgård) and his troubled daughter. In this charged atmosphere, enmity and grief give way to passion and betrayal.

Capturing a sense of time and place, The Aftermath is also a showcase for these three wonderful actors. Knightley seems born to play period and it is for good reason that she is cast consistently in these roles – she brings a brittle strength to a woman struggling to reconcile her passion with a sense of duty. Alongside her, two very different actors Skarsgård, enigmatic and mysterious, and Clarke, always solidly dependable, make Rachel’s conflict palpable.