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Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Antonio Campos|
|Produced by||Sean Durkin
|Written by||Antonio Campos|
Jeremy Allen White
|Music by||Jody Lee Lipes|
|Edited by||Randi Glass
|Distributed by||IFC Films|
Afterschool is a 2008 drama film filmed, written, and directed by Antonio Campos. Filmed at the Pomfret School in Pomfret, Connecticut, Afterschool premiered at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival in the program Un Certain Regard. The film gained an Independent Spirit Award and Gotham Award nomination for Campos and won the Jury Prize for experimental narrative film at the Nashville Film Festival.
While doing a film project at a private school, internet-video obsessed teenager Robert (Ezra Miller) catches two twins dying due to drugs contaminated with rat poison. Confused, Robert does not call for help but rather simply walks over to the girls and sits on the floor with them, pulling one into his lap as she dies. This scene, caught on security camera and by another student on a cell phone, is repeatedly shown, but always from the same angle: with Robert's back to the viewer. The viewer cannot see her death but only hear her cries slowly subside. This is all caught on a video camera Robert was using for a school project. The girls die. An atmosphere of paranoia and unease sets in among students and teachers, Robert being affected as well. The school claims that the drugs were bought outside the school and enforces a new, much harsher, drug policy wherein bags are searched and students are expelled. Robert and another student, Amy (Addison Timlin), are assigned to make a memorial video. The school is not happy with the result and has it re-edited, to make a smoother version.
While making the video, Robert and Amy begin a romantic relationship, wherein they both have sex for the first time in a wooded area. However, it is later hinted that their roommate may be involved romantically, as well. He fights with his roommate, who sold the drugs to the twins, and shouts that he killed the girls. The school questions him about this accusation, and is relieved that Robert says it was not substantiated. Robert is asked to take a leave of absence from the school. Toward the end of the film, we are finally shown the scene of the girls' deaths from the front and see Robert pressing his hand over her mouth and nose, smothering her. Later, Robert is shown at the school nurse, taking a daily dose of pills, showing that Robert is now on medication. The film ends as an unseen person with a cell phone videos him while he looks at two pictures of the deceased twins.
- Ezra Miller as Robert
- Addison Timlin as Amy
- Jeremy Allen White as Dave
- Michael Stuhlbarg as Mr. Burke
- Emory Cohen as Trevor
- David Costabile as Mr. Anderson
- Rosemarie DeWitt as Ms. Vogel
- Dariusz Uczkowski as Peter
- Gary Wilmes as Mr. Virgil
The film currently holds a 79% 'Fresh' rating on review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes, with the consensus "Antonio Campos' Afterschool is an intelligent, ambitious debut that boasts strong performances and plenty of ideas."