Directed by Ruud Lenssen, Lost in Memories is a documentary film that captures the process of dementia and the affects that it can have on the person that has it and their family.
The film starts when we are introduced to director Rudd Lenssen’s parents, Jac and Ria Lenssen. Jac is angry but we are aren’t sure why but he is angry and confused, while Ria looks on upset and concerned. We are then shown Jac and Ria receiving the news that he has dementia. The film is presented in a ‘fly on the wall’ style, so we see footage of Jac and Ria discussing their future plans which shows them selling their beloved ponies and vegetable garden as they are unable to look after them anymore.
The film mixes super 8 footage of the couple during the early years of their marriage which is a contrast to the current day footage because things seemed happier and easier in the early days, yet their lives a lot more complicated since Jac has been diagnosed with dementia. However, even with their struggles you can see that they still both love and care for each other.
Lost in Memories can be rather difficult to watch for the most part. Not because it is bad but because it can be very emotional. Watching someone deteriorate and how it affects the people around them is heartbreaking, but perhaps one of the of the hardest moments was when Jac is saying goodbye to his ponies and you can see that he is upset despite not fully aware of what is going on.
I felt that it was very brave of Ruud Lenssen to make a film like this and to release it to the public, but upon further reflection I think that even though it can be difficult to watch, it is also important to show how damaging this disease can be and to show how people are affected with dementia. From a personal point of view, Lenssen documented his parents and his family during one of their most difficult times, so that he can have also have everlasting memories of them.
Lost in Memories is a hard-hitting film that, for the most part, can be distressing and displays the difficult scenarios that a family has to go through when faced with something life-changing, but it can also be a reminder to appreciate your loved ones while you have them in your life.
Lost in Memories will be available to watch as part of the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival from the 1st of July to the 31st of July, 2021.
For more information on the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival, visit: https://mdff.org.au