Keira Knightley takes a trip to post-war Germany in The Aftermath
by Birgit Heidsiek
- Based on a true story, the film directed by James Kent brings together two families from two former enemy nations
After filming on location in Prague and Hamburg, production has wrapped on the post-war family drama The Aftermath by James Kent (Testament of Youth [+see also:
film profile]). Produced by Ridley Scott’s company, Scott Free Pictures, Malte Grunert’s Hamburg-based Amusement Park Films (A Most Wanted Man [+see also:
film profile], Land of Mine [+see also:
interview: Louis Hofmann
interview: Martin Zandvliet
film profile]) and Fox Searchlight Pictures, the film stars Keira Knightley, Jason Clarke and Alexander Skarsgård.
Set in post-war Germany, in 1946, the story is based on the book of the same name by Rhidian Brook, who intended to bring his grandfather’s memories to the big screen. Scott’s company commissioned a script based on his novel, which was adapted by screenwriters Joe Shrapnel and Anna Waterhouse.
The Aftermath tells the story of a British colonel who is tasked with rebuilding the city of Hamburg, which has been devastated by the war. Together with his mourning wife and his 11-year-old son, he moves into a luxury villa in a prestigious neighbourhood. He allows an architect who is awaiting official permission to work again to stay in his mansion, where he lives with his troubled teenage daughter after his wife disappeared in the firestorm caused by the Allied bombing. The two families, which have each suffered a loss, are hostile towards each other and have to deal with the fact that they are all living under one roof - an experience that will change their lives forever.
Shot by German DoP Franz Lustig (Land of Plenty [+see also:
film profile], Don’t Come Knocking [+see also:
film profile]), The Aftermath spent 20 shooting days in Germany, where Hamburg-based location scouts Nic Diedrich and Benjamin Ackermann found a castle for the interiors. “We are delighted that this compelling feature with a top-notch cast has been shot in our region,” says Maria Köpf, CEO of the Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, which supported the production with €750,000. German producer Grunert, whose Land of Mine was nominated for this year’s Oscar for Best Foreign-language Film, previously brought Anton Corbijn’s A Most Wanted Man to Hamburg.
The visual effects for The Aftermath will be created by The Post Republic in conjunction with its London-based sister company Automatik. The gripping post-war drama will be released theatrically worldwide by 20th Century Fox.