The family at the center of Lost Persons Area lives on a remote plot of land that has more dirt than it does grass. Pylons tower over their small residence, and a team of construction workers — led by foreman Marcus (Louwyck) — is often seen climbing the power lines beneath the glare of the late-afternoon sun. Bettina, Marcus's lover, runs the canteen that serves Marcus and his crew, and the curious young Tessa regularly ditches school to search the surroundings, collecting rocks, pencils, and bars of soap along the way. The plot materializes with the arrival of the sullen Szabolcs, a Hungarian engineer whom Marcus hires, and the onset of a fateful, on-the-job accident.
It's the gestures that elevate the film: What Strubbe's handheld and intimate approach lacks in originality it makes up for in specific and spontaneous tactility. Her characters' actions are so distinctive that, by the time Strubbe reaches something resembling an emotional climax -- an extended sequence of dancing that brings Marcus's family together with his crew -- the psychological currents of the four main characters have become so precise that each glance carries an overwhelming amount of unspoken meaning.