By Lethe Betrayed

On their 50th anniversary, Harold takes Esmeralda back to where they married, hoping to clear her Alzheimer’s-besieged mind. But this trip down memory lane unearths secrets they’d both forced themselves to forget. When the truth comes out, the consequences are dire…

  • Guido Lippe
    Fall-Out, Queers
  • Guido Lippe
    Fall-Out, Queers
  • Guido Lippe
    Fall-Out, Queers
  • Bernard Holley
    Key Cast
    Doctor Who, Z Cars, Holby City, A Touch of Frost
  • Corinna Marlowe
    Key Cast
    Hysteria, Love Hurts
  • Simon Wegrzyn
    Key Cast
    Wannabes, Going Commando, Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll, Queers
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    12 minutes 51 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    December 3, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    9,000 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Guido Lippe

By Lethe Betrayed is written & directed by Guido Lippe. One of the top script consultants in the Netherlands, he oversaw the script development of such hit TV series as the award-winning Bernhard: Scoundrel of Orange and Beatrix: A Queen Besieged, as well as box office smashes like Mr Twister and Dummie the Mummy. After his debut as a writer-director with Fall-Out he also developed and filmed a short pilot for sitcom Queers.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

The genesis of the By Lethe Betrayed came from a stray thought: what effects would Alzheimer’s have on repressed memories? Dementia is such an insidious disease, affecting memory and identity in a profound way, so what would happen if it re-awakened hidden secrets? How would you be able to deal with those memories resurfacing? And how does it affect your loved ones? With this film I want to explore how memory shapes our identity and how mental problems can reshape it.

The title is a poetic reference to Lethe, Greek goddess and river of oblivion and forgetfulness, whose waters one drinks after death to forget one’s mortal existence. Alzheimer's is in a way a betrayal of the natural order of things, forgetting your life before your time. And for Esmeralda, the resurfacing of memories purposely buried is yet another betrayal by Lethe, with painful ramifications.

By Lethe Betrayed also explores sexual identity. What do you sacrifice by accepting your sexuality and what do you sacrifice by denying it? Before heading off into the thriller aspect of the story, By Lethe Betrayed explores in Robin, mostly through subtext, the social isolation that single gays can feel. But there is also Harold’s deep, dark secret that has for years gnawed at him – and his marriage...

The film’s cinematography comes from a desire to tell a story with a new way of visualising the mental states of characters. The camera darts in and out of the characters’ perspectives, sometimes embodying the divine, with the use of line art to represent characters’ subjective memories. The sound of synapses firing and misfiring, as well as the haunting music, for me complement the amazingly poignant performances of the cast, hopefully making this a film to remember.