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Review: You Have a Problem (2015)

Directed by: | 30 minutes | , short

In ‘You have a problem’, filmmaker Esra Piké lets the audience watch the daily work of two meddlers, employees of BinG (Mediocrity in Groningen). Thea Bulthuis and Albert-Jan Martinus assist clients who – as the title of the documentary indicates – have a problem. In fact, these patients have two serious problems: psychiatric as well as addiction. Because this double diagnosis means that the usual care is not satisfactory, or is not eligible, these people are left out. BinG’s goal is to establish a relationship of trust between healthcare provider and patient, so that the problems can be kept under control as much as possible. You can see whether they succeed in this in ‘You have a problem’.

Bernadette lives in a kind of garden shed, is addicted to alcohol and does not leave the house. Her groceries are delivered by the Spar, but now that this supermarket is forbidden to deliver her drinks, she has moved to another supermarket. Albert-Jan and Thea always visit her together. The conversations show that Bernadette poses a danger to herself: she lights her cigarettes with the fire from the stove, while she does not stand very firmly on her feet. Bernadette herself indicates that she gets high from the carbon monoxide. The fact that it is December 24, and the shops will be closed for four days, has passed her by and she has only one meal ready. Albert-Jan and Thea try to insist that she visit the doctor. When it turns out that there is another problem that Bernadette would like to raise with the doctor, but that she would rather not talk about, the relationship between Bernadette and her care providers is put on edge. A very strong scene, showing how thin the thread is on which these meddlers have to balance.

Richard is a client of Thea. He lives in a crowded caravan, in which he hardly changes places. He hasn’t showered for eight weeks and despite the agreement he made with Thea about it, he wants to keep control of his own life and refuses to go because it is raining. There is a dead blackbird among his things and Thea tries to get him to bury it, but the bird is not in his way. and films are still important to Richard, a picture of the Canadian band Rush hangs on his wall, he has drumsticks and DVD covers are on his bed. The fungus on his feet doesn’t affect him much, he just sits on his bed with wet socks.

Without comment, Esra Piké shows how the team works and how important their work is. A full recovery is most likely no longer possible for these people, but all the little things that make their lives just a little more bearable help. Impressive documentary that tells a lot in a short space of time.

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