TIFF 2018 Review: RETROSPEKT (Netherlands/Belgium 2018) ***1/2

Movie Reviews of films that will be playing at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) in 2018. Go to TIFF 2018 Movie Reviews and read reviews of films showing at the festival.

Retrospekt Poster
Puzzle-like psychological drama about a domestic violence support worker .


Esther Rots


Esther Rots

Retrospeckt by definition is the Dutch word meaning the series of events that occurred in the past.  Director Ether Rot’s RETROSPEKT cleverly puzzles together a timeline-jumping narrative of protagonist Mette’s relationship to work, life, and motherhood culminating in catastrophic events.  

In many films, a non-chronological narrative is chosen at the director’s whimsy but in this film there is a reason for it.  Mette (Circé Lethem) has undergone an accident that has jolted her memory and psychical condition.  The story unfolds just as she is fitting her past together.  It is an intricate puzzle narrative where the stakes only escalate with every new shard of revelation.  Mette is happily married and works in an abuse shelter.  They have a new baby added to the family.

  When she takes in an abused victim into their home, disaster occurs.  Rots has created a scary suspensor made even more tense from her jump-timeline tactic coupled with the perfectly eerie soundtrack of operatic screeching songs by composer Dan Geesin.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyLjZc1qgu8