Alter Ego

Alter Ego Movie Poster

Shot between 1983 and 1985, this engaging documentary follows the trials and tribulations of a young Dutch psychiatrist, Dr. Joop van Wijk, as he tries to set up a hospital and garner patients in a West African country.

Obstacles are strewn in his path like debris after a tornado: there are not enough materials to either build or furnish the hospital, once it is built, the patients have no transportation to get there, once they get there, they have no interpreters to explain to Dr. Joop what their problem is.

And sometimes when they manage to explain that they have wind in the head, even an interpreter is insufficient. Dr. Joop travels around on his motorscooter when he can afford gas, and his contacts with the healers in the area increase. A look at a healer's approach to medicine and the hospital is an informative segment on its own.

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