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Film

Can Go Through Skin

When Marieke is brutally assaulted in her own apartment – right after ending a longterm relationship – it looks as if she will get over it.

KAN DOOR HUID HEEN (CAN GO THROUGH SKIN) Directed by Esther Rots (Netherlands 2009) with Rifka Lodeizen. Dutch OV with German subtitles.

When Marieke is brutally assaulted in her own apartment – right after ending a longterm relationship – it looks as if she will get over it. She is a strong, modern woman, with friends and a social network: far from helpless. Yet her life falls to pieces and, to the great credit of Lodeizen (as Marieke), in an entirely understandable way.

Marieke moves to a lonely, dilapidated house in the country; presumably in order to clear her head and put her world back together, but for a long time it looks like her loneliness and her rural neighbors´ clumsy attempts to help are only making things worse. She’s clearly not well; and while her extreme inwardness and the precise nature of her fragility makes it almost impossible to get close to her, director Rots manages to build up huge sympathy for a young woman who is almost immobile with fear and silent with terror, and her valiant attempts to claw her way back into life. A small, wonderful first feature from a surprisingly accomplished young director: Rots deserves our attention.

CAN GO THROUGH SKIN (KAN DOOR HUID HEEN) (Netherlands 2009) Directed by Esther Rots with Rifka Lodeizen. Dutch OV with German subtitles. Starts January 28. Rating: 3/4