Tribal Patients

‘The setting: The psychiatric hospital in Bardovci, close to Skopje, Macedonia, the entrance.

Scene: A bus with 30 visitors from Greece demand entrance. They are “human rights activists” and represent the fringe party Democratic Revival.

Insert. A commentator, standing, with a microphone in her hand: ‘The party leader of the Democratic Revival, Stelios Papathemelis, is a former minister for public order, who, to the great pleasure of the Greek public, stumbled upon trying to impose a strict curfew on bars and clubs. A former socialist, then conservative, he more recently tried populism in the form of left-winged nationalism combined with a good portion of orthodoxy, to little success so far.’

Scene continued: The group demands to see an inmate of the hospital, and to have him examined by a psychiatrist they brought along. They claim the patient is kept in hospital against his will, because of a pro-Greek blog he wrote. They are denied access by the director of the hospital, who is invoking legislation and rules not allowing ad-hoc visits. 

During the duration of the scene, a TV screen in the janitor’s empty shelter is featuring an interview with the patient’s family, who claim they had requested police assistance to deliver him to the hospital, as they had done before.

Inside the hospital premises, in the courtyard, the janitor is raking leaves. An inmate is talking to him. He tells him about his dream, in which he learned that he would be out of the hospital soon, because there was an organised effort by Greek activists. They had started a campaign to free him and would thus unmask the fascist regime in Skopje with the help of the media and of European dignitaries. The janitor smiles at him blandly.

To be continued…’

This is the first episode of a TV soap directed by a patient and inmate of the same hospital, who is suffering of delusions of grandeur, and featuring his fellow inmates as actors. His raw model and obsession is the Marquis de Sade, himself a director, while being an inmate in the hospital of Charenton.

During the airing of this first episode, watched by the entire staff of the Bardovci hospital, our inmate/director escapes and embarks onto a new adventure. Mysteriously, he surfaces in Uganda, where he starts working on a satirical TV play.

In a first trial scene we see an improvised press conference in an open-air pavilion, where the spokesman of the Allied Democratic Forces, a Muslim rebel group, announces to the gathered journalists that his group has chosen former Kosovo prime minister Ramush Haradinaj to mediate peace talks with the government in Kampala. He says the main reason for the choice was that Haradinaj had experience “of rebels and difficulties.”

The camera zooms in on the screen of one of the journalists’ laptop, where a judge of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia explains the circumstances of the acquittal of Ramush Haradinaj: “the Chamber encountered significant difficulties in securing the testimony of a large number of these witnesses. Many cited fear as a prominent reason for not wishing to appear before the Chamber to give evidence. In this regard, the Chamber gained a strong impression that the trial was being held in an atmosphere where witnesses felt unsafe, due to a number of factors set out in the Judgement. ” 

Our inmate/director vanishes from this set as well, not without leaving a note behind:

Email from God


Vision? What the hell…

  1. Biljana said:

    Or at least 11 nominations for the academy award..

    p.s. Someone get God a word processor or a yellow post it pad 😉

  2. Sandra said:

    Have you ever thought (but seriously) of writing a scenario for a movie? That will be an OSCAR winner – no doubt about it! 🙂

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