As if one tragic blow wasn’t enough, shortly after breaking up with her boyfriend, Marieke becomes the victim of a brutal attack. She cuts herself off from the outside world, moves in the freezing cold of the winter to a rundown house in the Dutch province of Zeeland and defiantly tries not to play the role of the victim. She spends a lot of time alone in the house in the company of her emotions. In those long sequences, the borders of her inner self are defined by the outside walls. Inside the conscious and the unconscious, her memories, thoughts and revenge – or perhaps only her fantasies about it – are all equally real. The camera stays very close to Marieke and frequently adopts her perspective. Together with the soundtrack, an impressive combination of language, sounds, music and song, it turns the viewer into an intimate witness of Marieke’s repression of feelings of shame, helplessness, sadness and weakness. She prefers to assume poses which exude strength; she denies herself the empathy that she grants other victims in nightly Internet chats, where the idea is born to take the punishment of the perpetrators into one’s own hands. A long gaze into the camera leaves it open whether Marieke will lose herself in this world or whether her relationship with John, a down-to-earth neighbor, can help her find her way back to herself.
by Esther Rots
with Rifka Lodeizen, Wim Opbrouck