The Netherlands 1991
director Frans van de Staak
production Van de Staak Film Productions
scenario Frans van de Staak based on Lidy van Marissing's play "De vrouw die een rookspoor achter liet"
cast Marlies Heuer, Peter Blok, Wim Meuwissen, Rein Bloem, Sacha Bulthuis, Ingrid Kuipers, Johan Leysen, Manouk van der Meulen, Joop Admiraal, Thom Hoffman
camera Bernd Wouthuysen
editor Hanneke Stark, Frans van de Staak
sound Piotr van Dijk
music Bernard Hunnekink
length 105'

Traces of smoke (IFFR 1992)

The central character in Rooksporen is a woman who finds herself facing an interrogator. Around these interrogation scenes are scenes in which 26 witnesses (from A to Z) are introduced: first in their houses and then in a space adjacent to the interrogation room. The questioner has an ambiguous identity and function: he directs his questions at the woman and then turns away only listening and watching as a sounding-board, to the witnesses. And the witnesses also have an elusive identity. Who or what they are remains unclear, they exist thanks to the sensuality and/or obscurity of their language. It is also far from clear what the woman is accused of. Most witnesses eventually think she is guilty, but what of remains the question. The only thing which is not in doubt is that she is an eccentric. Whenever it looks as if she can be tied down, she gets off as each witness tries to involve her. Among the many characters are, as well as friends of the film-maker such as film-maker/poet Rein Bloem, some of the best and best-known actors from the Dutch theatre circuit and film world such as Joop Admiraal, Sacha Bulthuis, Thom Hoffman, Johan Leysen and Titus Muizelaar.The film Rooksporen is based on the play De vrouw die een rookspoor achterliet (The woman who left behind a trace of smoke) by Lidy van Marissing which she was commissioned to write for the Institute for Theatre Investigation of Jan Kassies. Lidy van Marissing and Frans van de Staak previously cooperated on the scenarios for the films Er gaat een eindeloze stoet mensen door mij heen (1981) and Op uw akkertje (1982).