Lost on Arrival

  • Esther Polak, Ivar van Bekkum
  • Netherlands
  • 2020
  • 8 min
  • World Premiere
  • IDFA Competition for Short Documentary

A man lived on the Caribbean island of Curaçao for many years during his working life. After his retirement he wants to spend his last years there. The preparations are going well: he sells his house and all his possessions are put into boxes. But then his health fails him. By the time he leaves, dementia has affected his memory.

This heartbreaking drama is portrayed using extremely minimalist means. Except for the opening scene, all we see is the view from a tropical veranda. At the same time we hear the man having telephone conversations with his son, in which he gradually acknowledges that he is losing his grip on reality. Even more telling is the silence during the son’s inaudible answers, his words helplessly dissolving into endless repetition.

The sun slowly rises on the porch as the light in the man’s brain dims. He may have gone to Curaçao, but he never actually arrived.


  • 8 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: Dutch
  • Subtitles in: English
Esther Polak, Ivar van Bekkum
Esther Polak for PolakVanBekkum, Ivar van Bekkum / PolakVanBekkum
Esther Polak, Ivar van Bekkum
Esther Polak, Ivar van Bekkum
Sound Design
Arno Peeters

IDFA history

World Premiere
IDFA Competition for Short Documentary

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IDFA history

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