About the film


The life of Marieke is transformed by an act of violence. She decides to escape from her hometown and buys a remote and derelict cottage in the Zeeland countryside. By making a new start, she hopes to be able to shake off the violent experience, but the cold and her loneliness only add to her feelings of fear and vengeance. With the arrival of summer and a new love, Marieke seems to be regaining strength. But slowly, she loses grip on her life.

Can go through skin is a psychological drama with light touches. Rifka Lodeizen plays Marieke in the feature film debut of Esther Rots, who has won a range of awards for her short films Dialoogoefening no. 1: Stad, Ik ontspruit, and Speel met me (Dialogue exercise no. 1: City, I sprout, Play with me). Can go through skin premiered at the Forum, Berlinale, won several awards (a.o. Fipresci, 3 Golden Calves and The Ingmar Bergman Award) and had successful press reviews.

Further parts are played by Wim Opbrouck, Chris Borowski, Elisabeth van Nimwegen, Tina de Bruin, and Mattijn Hartemink, among others. People involved in realizing the film include Lennert Hillege (camera), Victor Horsink (sound), Luuk Zonnenberg (focus puller, gaffer) Dan Geesin (music & sound design), and Maudy van Bree (production manager).

Can go through skin was produced by Rots Filmwerk ‘s Hugo Rots and Esther Rots, and Trent from NFI Productions. It was coproduced by NPS (dutch broadcaster). Other essential financiers were Nederlands Fonds voor de Film, Stimuleringsfonds, CoBO Fonds, and Rotterdams Fonds voor de Film. The film was shot throughout the four seasons at various locations, including Sint-Margriete, Rotterdam, and Amsterdam. Benelux Film Distributions will release the film in theatres on the 5th of February, 2009.


Marieke is a cheerful and carefree woman in her early thirties living the fast life in Amsterdam. Until her boyfriend suddenly leaves her. She wallows in her grief, rings up friends, and in a drunken daze acts as if everything is fine. Then, a pizza delivery-boy breaks into her house and assaults her. A friend comes to her aid, and they escape in a panic.

A few weeks later, Marieke impulsively buys a remote and derelict cottage in the Zeeland countryside. In these new surroundings, she thinks she will be able to shake off her painful experiences. She embarks upon renovating her new house, hoping it will take her mind off things but she feels choked by the wide-open winter environment. She doesn’t feel safe in her new home, and regards the friendly and helpful villager John as an intruder. Then when the pizza delivery-boy’s verdict turns out to be very mild, she becomes frustrated and filled with vindictiveness.

Through internet chat rooms she meets fellow victims who, like her, are willing to take matters into their own hands. She rises above being the victim and in this process slowly learns to control her fears.

At the onset of summer Marieke seems to be returning to her former self. Her joint quest for justice with her fellow victims empowers her. She adds fresh energy to the renovation and becomes more aware of nature blooming around her. She even starts a relationship with John, gets pregnant and claims to look forward to having a baby. But without realizing it, she loses control of her life.