Cast: Rifka Lodeizen, Wim Opbrouck, Chris Borowski, Elisabeth van Nimwegen, Tina de Bruin
Marieke (Rifka Lodeizen), a carefree young woman living in Amsterdam, has her life shattered by an act of terrible violence: alone in her apartment one night, she is brutally raped and almost drowned in her bathtub. Rather than turning to others for help, Marieke retreats to a remote, rundown farmhouse in the countryside. She tries to distance herself from her emotional trauma by immersing herself in the exhausting work of making her new home liveable, but her feelings of fear and vulnerability soon gives way to paranoia. As her mental disintegration quickens, Marieke begins to escape into fantasies of revenge; reality becomes difficult to distinguish from hallucination. But when winter gives way to spring, it appears that Marieke may be beginning to heal — encouraged by a developing relationship with helpful neighbour John (Wim Opbrouck). Taut, atmospheric, and emotionally intense, and featuring a standout, truly fearless performance from Rifka Lodeizen (who is in almost every frame of the film), writer-director Esther Rots’s Can Go Through Skin is a hypnotic exploration of one woman’s struggle to regain both her strength and her sanity. “A major discovery from the best Dutch filmmaker since Paul Verhoeven” (Howard Feinstein, indieWIRE). Colour, Digibeta video, in Dutch with English subtitles. 94 mins.
Post-screening discussion with Dr. Ingrid Sochting, Chief Psychologist at Richmond Mental Health Outpatient Services and Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, UBC. Dr. Sochting has been instrumental in developing a number of group therapy programs for mood and anxiety disorders including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Moderated by Dr. Harry Karlinsky, Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia.