As her mother’s carer, writer Heleen van Royen spent a year filming how her 84-year-old mother (Mrs Breed) became dependent on help as she lived through the early stages of dementia. The result is an intimate, bittersweet portrait that owes its ‘feel-good factor’ to the articulate, independent-minded mother and the quick-witted manner in which mother and daughter communicate.
The film follows the writer and her mother in everyday situations and as they visit numerous care institutions. Difficult decisions and treasured moments of togetherness alternate. Mrs Breed is herself able to describe what it is like when the past and present start to interweave; the incomprehensible daily reality of someone with dementia. The film has plenty of humour, even during intimate, highly moving moments, which saves the film from sentimentality. Het Doet Zo Zeer is a loving, recognisable, at times painful and often very funny ode to life. It owes a debt of gratitude to Heleen’s mother, Mrs Breed.