“Mother”: a magnificent documentary on Alzheimer’s disease and the role of mother

The story takes place at the Baan Kamlangchay center in Thailand where Westerners suffering from Alzheimer’s disease are cared for. With infinite attention and tenderness, Pomm, a young nurse’s aide watches over her patients. She helps Elisabeth in the last stages of her life and welcomes a new, younger patient who arrives from Switzerland. But this center is very far from her home and most of the time, Pomm lives separated from her young children. With immense sensitivity, this film explores, without judgement, the complicated role of a mother and the difficulty of our Western societies in taking care of our elders.

At the start of this documentary, there is the director’s personal story. When his father was no longer able to provide all the necessary care for his dementia-stricken mother, Kristof Bilsen began looking for alternatives to the traditional residential care centre. Few things exist with us. This is how he discovered this center in Thailand. He met Pomm there and was very impressed and charmed by the privileged relationship that existed between her and her patient, like a mother-daughter bond. This is where his desire to make this film was born.

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