The film team who made “The Doctor Who Refused To Give Up” is making a new documentary with could be seen as a similar subject, “The Patient Who Built a Hospital.”
TEXT BÖRJE PERATT
The main characters are Anne-Marie Johansson (the patient) and Dr Unnikrishnan (Ayurveda doctor). The director Börje Peratt became acquainted with Anne-Marie in the early 1970s and have worked with Anne-Marie on several projects since then. Börje also met Dr. Unnikrishnan when he visited Sweden in the late 1990s and received a fabolous effective treatment for rheumatism. Telling film crew partner Lars af Sillén the story of Anne-Marie convinced him of the need of making a Feel Good documentary after the mentally exhausting project about Dr Erik Enby. And we decided within Cultnet network to go for it.
In January 2018, Lars Sillén and I completed the final recording in India of the documentary film “The Patient Who Built a Hospital”.There were many threads clenched there. Anne-Marie and I met 45 years ago and we have occasionally worked together for almost as many years.It has mainly been about education and communication skills and leadership. Anne-Marie became a mentor and we have been able to talk about everything and discuss the many issues of life in an honest and open-hearted way without having to agree on each other’s views.
This freedom thinking, the right to different beliefs and opinions has also since become a natural foundation for the building of the organization Humanism & Knowledge. The association has attracted people who, like Anne-Marie, want to “improve the world”, help distressed, especially among women and children, and fight for respect and equal treatment.
I remember how Anne-Marie said that she made an early decision never to give birth because she, as a 5 year old, decided to devote her life to helping other children. Her empathy for unaccompanied Finnish refugee children during World War II, when she also was just a small child, was of great importance to this decision. She said at one point, when we came to talk about life and death, that as a young child she had already understood the essentials of life. When her father then died when she was around 16 years she was forced to grow up quickly.
Anne-Marie had lived a rich life when, 1996, just before her retirement, she suffered from cancer and decided to drastically remove both her breasts. “They would not benefit anymore,” she concluded laconically.
When the medical service in Sweden could not help in her rehabilitation, she listened to the tips of her good friend, Ishvar, to try Ayurvedic medicine, and eventually ended up at Dr Unni, a young, almost newly-graduated doctor in Kovalem, Kerala, southern India.
Anne-Marie tried to get me to visit her several times to make a documentary about life there (my only excuse for not going was the weather condition, to hot and to humid). She has returned to Unnis Clinic every year to assist him in developing the administration and organization of the clinic during the winter. She became his second mother, completely in line with her commitment to the children she has taken under her wings during the years.
One day, Unni told her the vision of building a larger clinic that could provide patients with accommodation and other services and treatments. Anne-Marie quickly made a plan for financing and realization. I probably think she knew what she was doing, but maybe she did not anticipate all the problems that might arise. She gave support and guidance to Unni and became “the patient who built a hospital”. A title that, of course, she would never have been able to think or accept. But after talking to Unni, his mother and wife, everyone says that without Anne-Marie, “Unni Krishnan Ayurvecic Hospital” had never been realized. Anne-Marie does not aggree, off course, she says Dr Unni would have made it anyway but perhaps it wouldn’t have come to the same result.
Lars af Sillén took the initiative to the film about Anne-Marie and I am him forever grateful for that. The circle has been closed. Lars was one of the photographers of “The Doctor Who Refused To Give Up” about Dr Erik Enby. His experiences of the injustice Enby was exposed to gave him the desire to make a “feel good movie” and after hearing my story about Anne-Marie, her life and efforts in India, he wanted us to do this documentary.
We aim to be able to screen the “Patient Who Built a Hospital” before Christmas 2018. This film may also be an inspiration to all those who want to see a continuation of Erik Enby’s act. The only real complementary care option we have in Sweden is the Vidarkliniken that is under threat from the anti-humanists who have now taken over the Academy of Sciences.
It therefore is urgent to form a new force to bring forth “the right to health”. Unfortunately, even among those who could cooperate with this complementary force, there seems to be doubts. I quote Ulla Premmert who took the initiative for Enby’s film:
””Now I read an article about Trump’s attack on Big Pharma, which I of course welcome, but I absolutely can not stand behind his nationalist, sexist and foolish opinions. Unfortunately, I have noticed that in alternative circuits [in Sweden] there are sometimes right wing-extremes and uncritical tribute to Trump. If no reflection is done about what Trump stands for, it may be even harder for the establishment in Sweden to think about and listen to the alternative movement. I hereby mark my resignation …”
I totally agree with Ulla, so we must be careful about what and who we are working with. Imagine if a joint movement could be formed with “patients who built an Enby hospital” in Sweden. Enby is educated and experienced physician and also the true source of school medicine that in many ways have been perverted in today’s healthcare. Instead, it should be called Western industrial medicine, which may have a few hundred years on the neck, since Eastern, such as Ayurveda, has empirical evidence for several thousand years. Here we can talk about proven experience.
Lars and I warmly thank Dr Unni and we are very impressed with the results, a hospital with qualified healthcare staff, 6 doctors and 30 therapists who take up to 130 patients a day with a very nice hotel with over 30 rooms and an annex to the “Eagle Hill”. They also offer dentist, pedicure, yoga, etc.
We are especially happy to see how Anne-Marie is now recovering and able to walk at a good pace even in the uphill slopes. Thanks to Mayne Sundewall-Hopkins and David Hopkins who helped with translations and subtitles. Thanks also to photographer Hans Welin who participated in film recordings in Sweden.
Filmmaker, journalist, Human scientist