The Return

Piet Eekman


a film by Piet Eekman in co-production with ZDF-ARTE, with support from the Flanders Audiovisual Fund.

This is how SHE escapes the prostitution network. Wearing extremely high heels, too short a skirt and too deep a cleavage… This is how her life as a prostitute ends. Her looks are the symbol of another life. A wrong life. She leaves for home looking like that. To an obscure village in Eastern Europe, where people wear boots or sturdy work shoes, warm pullovers and hats, where people have chapped hands and dirty fingernails. How can SHE possibly fit in? Can she go back to her old life? What is she to do? The contrast between these two worlds cannot be better highlighted than by her looks and those of the people in her village.

Women from the former Warsaw pact countries becoming victims of pimps and being forced into prostitution. Everyone knows the story. Sometimes one gets liberated or is able to escape. She can then return home.  Is this a happy ending? For a lot of women a second ordeal commences. With their souls broken they have to pick up the pieces of their old and empty lives. The kind of life they once tried to escape from.

This films shows one of them. A woman with a life after prostitution.


Piet Eekman was born in Berlin in 1964 and studied directing at the Brussels Filmschool INSAS and in East Germany at HFF. After being cinema operator in the Brussels Filmmuseum, he worked for several years as a journalist for the German public broadcaster ZDF. In the year 2000 he left journalism to return to film-making. As an independent author and director he has made several, frequently socially-critical, documentaries often produced by ARTE.

Selected flmography: Twice as wise, Children Documentary 18’ - 2010/ PTBS – unsichtbar verwundet (PTSS – invisible wounds), Dokumentary 46’ – 2008/ Ein Pferdeleben (A horse’s life), Documentary 26’ – 2007/ Reiche Essen keine Hamburger (Rich people don’t eat hamburgers), Documentary 55’ – 2004/ Die Gans, 4 Köche & meine Mutter (The goose, 4 cooks & my mother), Documentary 58’ – 2003/ Ups and downs, Documentary 60’ – 2003/ Der Koch, der Hund & Dali (The cook, the dog & Dali), Documentary 60’ – 2002/ Die Spur der Kinderschänder (The Dutroux case), Documentary, 45’ – 2001/ Die Männer meiner Oma (My grandma’s men), Documentary 20’ - 1997