Good Neighbours / Goede Buren (NL)
A film by Stella van Voorst van Beest
Loneliness hides behind closed doors and around every corner. But can you fight it without facing your own fear of death?
When Rotterdam citizen Bep de Bruin is found dead in her home, lying there unnoticed for 10 years, the city is in shock. How could this happen? Ada (59) and her best friend Wilma (70) decide to volunteer for the local government’s response: a campaign against loneliness. Together, they go door to door to check in on elderly citizens, looking for lonely people that fit the profile and need help.
This is how they meet Jan, who has barely left his home in seven years. In fighting to stay independent, his loneliness intensifies, and Ada and Wilma are upset by his insufficient quality of care. They also encounter Tilly, a strong and stubborn woman who has contact with no one but her beloved dog, and refuses every offer of support.
Overwhelmed by the loneliness they encounter, and by their fear for what this means for them and their city, Ada and Wilma stop observing — and take action.