Mette has had her second child and is on parental leave. Yet life at home is far from perfect. She wishes her husband Simon would pull his weight more within the family and misses her job at a centre for victims of domestic violence, where her colleagues assure her that things are also running smoothly without her. More dismayed than reassured, she eventually strikes out on her own to try and help a former client in crisis, albeit against her better judgement. When the client’s violent boyfriend shows up, the situation threatens to escalate.
The retrospective view referenced by the title is anything but a conventional cinematic flashback. The events are highly fragmented, with the puzzle pieces of the plot only coming together gradually. This fractured quality piercingly conveys the nature of a traumatic experience and a way of experiencing the world where the ego is not master in its own house. The recitative singing on the soundtrack then comments on the plot. The interweaving of montage, sound design and the superb performance by the lead actress Circe Lethem makes Retrospekt into an immersive cinematic experience.
by Esther Rots
with Circé Lethem, Lien Wildemeersch, Martijn van der Veen, Teun Luijkx, Lottie Hellingman, Frederique & Felice de Bruijn
Netherlands / Belgium 2018 Dutch, Flemish, French, English 101’ Colour


  • Circé Lethem (Mette)
  • Lien Wildemeersch (Lee Miller)
  • Martijn van der Veen (Simon)
  • Teun Luijkx (Klaas)
  • Lottie Hellingman (Lauren)
  • Frederique & Felice de Bruijn (Harrie)


Written and Directed by Esther Rots
Cinematography Lennert Hillege
Editing Esther Roths
Music Dan Geesin
Sound Design Dan Geesin
Sound Kwinten Van Laethem
Production Design Kurt Rigolle
Costumes Ann Lauwerys
Producers Hugo Rots Rots Filmwerk, Gijs van de Westelaken Column Film, Esther Rots Rots Filmwerk, Chantal van der Horst Column Film, Ellen De Waele Serendipity

Esther Rots

Born in Groenlo, Netherlands in 1972. After studying at the Academy of Visual Arts in Arnhem, she enrolled at the Dutch Film Academy in Amsterdam in 1994. Together with her brother Hugo Rots, she founded the film production company Rots Filmwerk in 2006.


2002 Speel met me (Play With Me); 12 min. 2003 Ik ontspruit (I Sprout); 15 min. 2005 Dialoogoefening no. 1: Stad (Dialogue Exercise No. 1: City); 10 min. 2009 Kan door huid heen (Can Go Through Skin); 97 min., Forum 2009 2011 Evolution of Sorts; 8 Min., co-directed by Dan Geesin 2018 Retrospekt

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2019