Tot altijd (2012)

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Tot altijd: Directed by Nic Balthazar. With Koen De Graeve, Geert Van Rampelberg, Lotte Pinoy, Michel van Dousselaere. Based on a true story, ‘Tot altijd’ introduces us to a band of friends in the eighties, who spend their days enjoying their youth and turbulent (love) life. Mario Verstraete (Koen De Graeve) rushes into marriage with Sofie (An Miller), who gives birth to their son Milan. His secret admirer Lynn (Lotte Pinoy) takes a step back. A few years later, Mario and Sofie divorce and the group fragments. Thomas (Geert Van Rampelberg), a recent medicine graduate and Mario’s closest friend, gets stuck between a rock and a hard place when he diagnoses Mario with MS (Multiple Sclerosis). Though not a fatal disease, it slowly consumes the patient’s bodily functions and – in some cases – their minds. Mario becomes the leading spokesman for the action group Waardig Sterven (“Dignified Death”) in support of the Belgian legalisation of euthanasia. Thomas does everything in his power to avoid losing his best friend, but also can’t stand the sight of his continued degeneration. The film follows the journey of both Thomas and Mario, as the latter asks: “will you help me, when the time comes?”

“This movie really touches all the dimension of our human existence. Tears and laughter. The lightness of being in perfect balance with the tragedy of human life. Top class actors and a director that only evokes adoration for such a beautiful scenario. The life of a cheerful young man Mario – a successful political career ahead of him- get into a turmoil of emotions when he hears he suffers from Multiple sclerosis. Surrounded by his best friends -one of them a medical doctor- they try to make him understand that life is worth living, no matter in what condition. But the character of Mario is determined: he wants to die when he decides the quality of life is not adequate anymore. Through is political contacts, he succeeds to make euthanasia a law under strict circumstances(second country in Europe)and he is the first one to finally use this law. The end is absolutely touching and impactive. It makes you reflect about your own life and all the things you care for. This is a must-see if you believe in life.”


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