92' 2017 Belgium, Netherlands director: Thom M Vander Beken cinematography: Grimm Vandekerckhove editing: Patrick Minks production: Minds Meet

I Know You Are There

Ten years after a car accident, 27-year-old Quentin is still deep in a coma, and the lives of his parents and siblings are focused on the extremely demanding care that he requires. The camera follows Quentin and his mother, Anne, during yet another visit to a clinic in Liège that is home to the Coma Science Group, a brilliant team of researchers, led by Prof. Steven Laureys, that deal with issues related to waking patients from comas. A range of tests and treatments are meant to help determine if the patient's condition can improve and if there is any hope of recovery or if palliative care should be considered instead. Although the word “euthanasia” is not used in the film, family conversations and consultations with doctors keep returning, like an echo, to the question of who can or should decide whether to continue treatment, whether efforts should be made to sustain Quentin’s life at all costs and whether his state of permanent suffering can be called “life” at all. Thom Vander Beken's film is not only a moving documentary about the lives of people in a coma, but also an intimate, beautifully filmed portrait of an extraordinary family.

Józefina Bartyzel

2017 Visions du Réel
Special Mention


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