In 2013 I met Eelco at a project called BroedplaatsZ, in which people that needed care started blogging and using Twitter in order to show what their lives looked like. Eelco was one of the three people whom I made a small documentary about. Death was a much-discussed subject and for Eelco it had been his whole life. In 2016 he knew for sure that it was his time to die, because of his unbearable and endless suffering. He did not want to commit suicide, he wanted it the ‘legal way’. Under strictly specified circumstances, physicians in the Netherlands are allowed to perform euthanasia and assisted suicide at the request of a patient. The criteria include a voluntary and well-considered request from the patient, unbearable suffering without any prospect of improvement, and the lack of a reasonable alternative.
Because Eelco had been trying to tackle the stigma concerning mental suffering for a very long time, he wanted his last stage to be recorded. And so he asked me to show a beautiful and honest story about his last mission. Because I knew him and supported him, I decided to do so, with dignity and respect. Of course, I do that with my own vision, style and input as a director. I believe that as a society we need to be broad-minded and nuanced on euthanasia. With this work I hope to contribute to that idea. Telling a personal, but also relevant story, without judgement, is my mission. And together with Eelco’s request it is my motivation for making this film: to show the other side.