Paul Schrader's Affliction (1998) tells the story of two brothers and the events surrounding a fatal shooting during a New England winter. More than this, however, the story told is also about place and the personal histories and traumas that form communities and families. This review examines some of the pathways connecting character and place in Affliction and also in Schrader's earlier film Light Sleeper (1991). Across these films, the director develops a series of echoes and resonances that connect the characters and work toward the creation of a cinematic milieu in which we find an ever-present relationship to the past.

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