Vancouver Premiere of “Good Neighbours,” a Dutch Documentary About Social Isolation, June 19, 2019

Wednesday, June 19 – 7:30 PM
Pacific Cinematheque, 1131 Howe Street
Netherlands, 2018. Dir: Stella van Voorst van Beest. 80 mins. DCP

Vancouver Premiere! When an elderly woman in Rotterdam lies dead in her apartment for 10 years before her body is discovered, residents of the city are appalled. To ensure it never happens again, city council launches a campaign to combat loneliness, one that begins with home visits to everyone over the age of 75 to assess their level of isolation. Best friends and neighbours, Ada (59) and Wilma (70), volunteer to knock on doors, and meet octogenarians Jan, a widower with mobility problems who has been housebound for seven years, and Tilly, a feisty soul who insists the company of her beloved dog is all she needs. Aggrieved by the neglect they encounter, and overwhelmed by the sheer enormity of the situation, Ada and Wilma put aside their official questionnaires and take action. A heartbreaking and timely film that asks, “what do I owe my neighbours?” and inevitably, “who will care for me when I am old?”

Post-screening discussion with Eddy Elmer, a PhD candidate in social gerontology from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Eddy is on the Board of Directors of the BC Psychogeriatric Association and while a three-term member of the City of Vancouver Seniors’ Advisory Committee, was responsible for the creation of the 2018 report on ‘Social Isolation and Loneliness Among Seniors in Vancouver,’ which is available online at

Moderated by Dr. Harry Karlinsky, Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia.

View the trailer. Tickets: