Panorama | Contemporary World Cinema
A nuclear family is exploded by an unforeseen disaster in Esther Rots’ tense, non-linear study of a woman struggling to put her life’s pieces together. After reluctantly extending her parental leave, social worker Mette (Circé Lethem) is left to care for her young children when her husband Simon (Martijn van der Veen) leaves home on an extended contract. Frustrated and desperate to reclaim her sense of purpose, she secretly takes a longtime victim of domestic violence, Lee (Lien Wildemeersch), into her home, a decision that destabilizes Mette’s daily patterns and corrodes her self-image…
Following a long hiatus after Can Go Through Skin (VIFF 09), Rots’ second film leaps forward and backward through time as the floating camerawork sifts through each vignette with an uneasy subjectivity. Haunted by the domineering impulses men assert over women and defined by schisms both internal and external, Retrospekt is at once an uneasy and sardonically funny experience, and it strikes disturbingly close to home.