Cross Aid Post

  • Maria Mok, Meral Uslu
  • Netherlands
  • 2007
  • 85 min
  • World Premiere
  • Highlights of the Lowlands
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The Cross Aid Post, a Christian health clinic in the heart of Amsterdam's Red Light District, offers medical assistance to 6,000 uninsured people and illegal immigrants each year. It is run by around 80 volunteers, retired doctors, and doctors in training. The filmmakers capture the goings on in the cramped quarters, where a consultation only costs five euros. It's not always easy for the doctors to make a diagnosis, as many of the patients don't speak English or Dutch. A bit of Spanish and French comes in handy, as does insight into human nature. Knowing how drug addicts think, not allowing patients to walk all over them, and having a thick skin are all job requirements. Each day, the doctors are confronted with difficult cases: a homeless man with serious health problems, a young drug addict who cries over his mother, a Sudanese man with a head cold who wants a statement of poor health to improve his chances of obtaining a visa. One of the doctors justly refers to the clinic as "a developing-aid project in our own country." Medicine and the slightly out-of-date equipment are donated by fellow doctors. The visitors are thrilled with their helpers, and only one refuses to agree with the diagnosis: how could her heart problems have anything to do with her obesity? Why won't they just give her some pills? If they're at all frustrated about not being able to solve all the problems they're faced with, the doctors don't show it. Instead, they tirelessly call the next patient in.

Credits

  • 85 min
  • color
  • video
  • Spoken languages: English, Dutch, French
  • Subtitles in: English
Director
Maria Mok, Meral Uslu
Production
Maria Mok, Meral Uslu
Cinematography
Meral Uslu
Editing
Bert Rijkelijkhuizen
Sound
Maria Mok
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IDFA history

2007
World Premiere
Highlights of the Lowlands

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IDFA history