Cloud Atlas is a novel published in 2004 by David Mitchell which was made a movie in 2012 directed by The Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer.

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Why is Cloud Atlas named 'Cloud Atlas'?

I am writing a film report on Cloud Atlas (though the school system is different here, I would be in high school in the US, AFAIK) and I have to explain the title as part of this film report, but ...
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What are the 'afflictions' the lawyer speaks of in the first few scenes?

The lawyer in Cloud Atlas first approaches the doctor (Tom Hanks) 'in hopes he can cure my afflictions'. So what were the afflictions then?
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Were the time eras in Cloud-Atlas happening in parallel?

In the movie there seemed to be 6 eras where events happened. I say eras because it started at some point from the past and unwrapped to the future. So these 6 eras seemed to be consecutive. But then ...
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How much of Cloud Atlas was real?

After having finished Cloud Atlas (both book and movie), I'm left with a rather perplexing question. It is lightly implied in the book that almost none of it was actually happening to real people. ...