We are happy to announce that People in White will be screened at Rome Film Festival 1st November 10.30pm. After that there will be Q&A.

People in White is a project that explores the complicated relationship between doctor and patient in mental health care.

Margreet receives electroshock treatment (ECT) for severe depression. As a side effect of the treatment she suffers from memory loss. She has been in therapy with the same psychoanalyst for 20 years. He knows more about Margreet than she remembers about herself. “He is my memory,” she says, and worries about him dying before her. Margreet is one of ten Dutch people who tell stories about their encounters with mental health-care professionals.

In People in White the dynamic between caregiver and care receiver is seen
specifically from the subjective viewpoint of people with mental illnesses. A central artistic device is re-enactment of key moments in the therapeutic process in which former patients play themselves as well as their doctors. Memories vary from beautiful, healing moments to the horrors of isolation and abuse.


People willing to share their stories were found through adverts in Dutch newspapers. The directors conducted extensive interviews with the 14 participants. All the dialogues and stories in the film are direct quotations from those interviews. Six of the participants were willing to appear in the film themselves, other participants choose to be represented by actors. The film was shot in an abandoned wing of a mental hospital.

People in White was commissioned by the 3rd International Madness and Arts Festival in Haarlem, Netherlands. The festival is one of the leading institutions using a multi-disciplinary approach to explore mental-health issues. The work was supported by SKOR, Netherlands and AVEK, Finland