PEOPLE IN WHITE is a project that explores the complicated relationship between doctor and patient in mental-health care. This dynamic relationship is seen 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. Margreet is one of them. She 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.
Six of the participants were willing to appear in the film themselves, other participants choose to be represented by actors.