A Strange Love Affair with Ego

  • Ester Gould
  • Netherlands
  • 2015
  • 93 min
  • Me

Ever since she was a young child, filmmaker Ester Gould has been amazed by the sheer self-confidence of her older sister Rowan, whose boundless creativity and natural beauty tended to ravish everyone around her. She has the world at her feet, and the universe is her playground. But can such a well-developed sense of your own worth go too far?

In this incisive, personal visual essay, Gould explores our society’s increasing obsession with the self. Thanks in part to social media, the pressure to have a fantastically successful life is ever greater; personal development seems paramount. While letting herself be guided by her sister’s biography, Gould follows a number of seemingly successful people going out, socializing and participating in the art world, as they reflect in conversations or interviews on the level of self-confidence they display and how this relates to their actual “self.”

Meanwhile, dreamy reenactments tell Rowan’s story, illustrated by excerpts from correspondence between the sisters. Gradually, Gould starts to question the stories she hears from her interesting sister, foreboding an alarming denouement.


  • 93 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: English, Dutch
  • Subtitles in: English
Ester Gould
Joost Seelen for Zuidenwind Filmproductions
Executive producer
Estelle Bovelander for Zuidenwind Filmproductions
Jean Counet
Katarina Türler, Barbara Hin

IDFA history

World Premiere
IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary
IDFA Competition for Dutch Documentary

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IDFA history

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