By the time the father of the young filmmaker Ruud Lenssen receives the diagnosis of vascular dementia, the disease is so advanced that the doctor’s words barely seem to register. But it’s all too clear to his wife Ria, and to Ruud and his sister: this is an irreversible process.
For the next two years, Ruud films his parents as they struggle on. Although he often remains in the background in scenes from the couple’s lives, the sense of intimacy in their relationship is never lost. The added Super 8 footage shows the couple in their first years of marriage—contrasting starkly with their current decline. The way in which the disease’s devastating effect on the family is brought to the screen is both tender and distressing. Jac gradually loses his grip on life and watches on helplessly as his beloved ponies and the land with his vegetable garden and chicken run are sold off. His wife Ria struggles in her role as caregiver. As the disease progresses, an inevitable decision grows ever closer.