Pavel ends his odyssey empty-handed and naked as the day he was born. This is where Light Thereafter begins. The title suggests that this in fact is where things really begin for him too, but the film goes back in time, passing the various stages on the journey Pavel has made. Through eight chapters we get to know Pavel – a lonely Bulgarian-British teenage boy with autistic tendencies, a deep love of painting and an obsession with and boundless adoration for the French painter Arnaud. This adoration gets him into his idol’s studio, where in the first chapter Arnaud very clearly disabuses Pavel of his dream. We then find out how Pavel got there, who crossed his path along the way, what he took with him and what he left behind.
Filmmaker and visual artist Konstantin Bojanov draws us into the experiences of a hypersensitive teenager discovering the world and his place within it. He does this in part by bathing each stage of this voyage of discovery in a different light: flickering candles, the glow of a streetlight, glistening sunlight, dazzling neon lights, the cool haze of dawn. The reverse chronology of the narration takes us into Pavel’s disoriented inner world, portrayed with wonderful purity by actor Barry Keoghan (Mammal).