The Class: Life After - Estonia
The Class Episode 1 (Estonia, 2010)by Eurochannel
The Class: Life After (Klass, Elu pärast, 2010)
Cast: Laine Mägi, Liina Joonas, Imre Paabo
Everybody has a breaking point. When bullied, some people fight back. Others run away. A few, however, bottle up their anger and resentment until it explodes. That was the fate of two high school students by the names of Joseph and Kaspar. Fed up with the constant torment and bullying, they struck back, bringing apocalyptic violence to the halls of their school.
The Class: Life After deals with the grim aftermath of a tragedy. In Tallinn, the Capital of Estonia, a community was shaken to its core by the senseless violence of one fateful day. This film explores the hard truths of the shooting, revealing both the depths of human depravity, and also the immense tenderness that we can be capable of when all else is lost. Each episode reveals a new perspective as the victims struggle to make sense of the violence, figure out who's to blame, or just try to rebuild their shattered lives.
Nobody was left unscathed by these two shooters. Schoolmates, friends, families, teachers, and even the police must each work their way through the questions left in the wake of such an atrocity. As the community struggles with its grief, more and more secrets about the town come to the light and the dark story behind the violence is slowly revealed. As the investigation deepens, we see that nobody is truly innocent, and that some people will go to extraordinary lengths to keep the past buried.
Kerli (Triin Tenso) was just leaving the school canteen when the shooting started. Two of her classmates came in, each wielding a small arsenal of guns: she was the only one allowed to leave before they began their massacre. In the aftermath, when she hears that the police are looking for her, Kerli runs off to stay at her grandmother's farm, until her grandmother encourages her to go back and sort her life out. She convinces the police that she had nothing to do with the shooting. They believe her, but back at school her problems are just beginning: the classmates who saw her get out believe she was in on the shooting.
Margus has always insisted on being a real man. He's is in the Territorial Army, he likes to go hunting and always stands up for his beliefs. He wanted his son Joseph (Pärt Uusberg) to become a real man too. Instead, his child turned out to be a coward who could only solve his problems by shooting his classmates and himself.
Laine (Laine Mägi) was the head teacher of the two students responsible for the shooting. In the aftermath of the violence, she wants to help everyone except herself. When she gets home after the shooting to find her husband unaware what had happened, she is reluctant to share her feelings.
Thea (Paula Solvak) was Kaspar's girlfriend until she dumped him in order to save face with the class. Now she feels guilty for going along with the bullies and abandoning Kaspar (Vallo Kirs). Four months after the shooting, Thea has been trying to get ahold of Kaspar in prison and she has a stack of returned letters to prove it. She keeps her plans a secret from everyone, parents and classmates alike.
A group of parents meet at school and find out the truth about their sons: they were not innocent victims, but instead were being punished for the incredible torment they inflicted on the shooters. The parents are distraught to learn that their sons were the bullies. Väino's (Erik Ruus) son Paul was an exceptionally smart boy who turned out to be the master mind behind the aggression. Julia's (Anu Lamp) son Olav (Karl Sakrits) simply went along with the bullying and did what others told him to.
Toomas (Joonas Paas) was one of the guys who took part in the bullying that led to tragic consequences. Five months after the shooting, he is in a wheelchair and has to learn how to live with his handicap. Moving to another school, he will have to deal with the opinion of outsiders while he hides the truth about where he comes from. Eventually, he has to face his guilt toward the events and accept that life should go on.
The four walls and the little window of the prison cell have become the whole world to Kaspar (Vallo Kirs). He meets the lawyer who prepares him for the trial and warns Kaspar that he might not remember all the events that happened months ago and that’s okay. Kaspar assures the lawyer that he remembers everything, every single detail: a wall in Kaspar’s cell is full of descriptions of events that let up to the shooting. Kaspar is taken to the trial where he tries to give a statement as honest as possible but when asked about the night on the beach, he can’t remember some details.