Ik ben niet bang

I'm not afraid
A Documentary by Fadi Hindash
Crowdfunding teaser: 
funded project
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Project Information

About the project
LOCKLINE'I'm not afraid' follows a free-minded psychiatrist as he assists one of his patients with her suicide.

THE FILM

71 year-old psychiatrist Dr. Polak is in the final stage of preparing for the assisted suicide of his patient Mrs. L. After 15 years of trying to treat her, he finally comes to the conclusion that helping her die is the only way to save her. Mrs. L has been suffering from a severe anxiety disorder all her life. She spends her days alone and heavily medicated. 40 years of debilitating mental illness have isolated her completely, leaving her with no family or friends. Mrs. L’s lonely existence is in complete contrast to Dr. Polak’s life which is packed full of friends, grandkids, birthday dinners and colleagues. Despite that active social life, Dr. Polak has built an emotional wall around himself, living in a separate house from his wife whom he still loves. This is a man who cherishes his freedom above all else. But as he witnesses Mrs. L embrace death without fear, Dr. Polak begins re-evaluating what freedom means to him.

I’M NOT AFRAID is a moving story about compassion, loneliness and free will. It is an observational documentary about the painfully intimate process of assisted suicide and the emotional toll such a journey takes on both doctor and patient. It documents the months leading up to the suicide as well as the suicide itself and the months after it. Although Mrs. L’s suicide forms the main story arc, Dr. Polak is our main character through whose eyes we see Mrs. L and understand their relationship. Like Dr. Polak, the pace of the film is steady and calm with many emotional layers. Visually, breathtaking nature and overflowing light take center stage. Key scenes take place against windows, with the outside world overexposed to suggest a light at the end of the tunnel. Similarly, the story takes place in a sunny Amsterdam summer, which adds to the bitter-sweetness.

HOW IT STARTED

Unlike any other film project I developed before, I’M NOT AFRAID required no formal development or research phase. I met Dr. Polak for the first time at a friend’s birthday party and within two weeks I was already filming him and his patient during their most intimate sessions as psychiatrist and patient. Maybe it was chance but I like to think it was because I’ve been developing this film since I was born. Severe mental illness is something I grew up with in my home and, in 2010, I developed an anxiety disorder myself. It felt like something that came out of nowhere. I started having multiple panic attacks a day, daily for a period of 3 years. I didn’t know what to do so I kept doing what got me in the mess in the first place: drugs. It wasn’t until I met Mrs. L in the summer of 2013 that something inside me started to change. While filming her sessions with Dr. Polak, I began my own therapy and journey inwards. I slowly began understanding that the roots of anxiety were there all along, I just wasn’t ready to see them. Meeting Mrs. L and Dr. Polak and working on this film has taught me and continues to teach me so much about compassion towards myself and others. I aim to make a film that shows not only how isolating mental illness can be but how important it is to lend a hand to those who are suffering in silence.   

 

WHERE WE ARE NOW

We began shooting in June of 2013 and wrapped in January of 2016. Filming is now complete. The funding we are seeking through this crowd-funding campaign will allow us to complete the rough cut of the film, which will take 10-12 weeks of editing. With the rough cut, we will hold a private test screening. Together with the notes from our story/editing advisor (details enclosed in the “About the Crew” page), the feedback from the test screening will allow the filmmaker to make final adjustments and complete the picture lock. With the fine cut, we will be able to apply to the Dutch Film Fund to cover final post-production elements like sound design, color grading and final mix. We are also happy to announce that we have an international distributor attached to the project (details enclosed in the “About the Crew” page). 



Quote that inspired the maker

“O death, how bitter thou art unto him that dwelleth in peace, unto him that has joy in possessions and liveth free from trouble. O death, how welcome thy call to him whose life is but a pain, who had nothing to hope for and cannot look for relief.”
Ecclesiasticus/Jesus Sirach Chapter 41, Bible, 1-3