Beauty In The Dark



From Anil van der Zee in Capture. Dance. Words.


For years I’d dreamed of backpacking through Europe, of seeing the Eiffel Tower and the Mona Lisa and the Roman Colosseum. This summer at the age of 28 I finally got to achieve that. But in the shadow of the monuments, many of the intimate human moments became far memorable.

One of the most important items on my agenda, and one of the most difficult, was to see my friend Anil Van der Zee in Amsterdam. Though he’s severely ill and bedridden, he put the wheels in motion to organize a sold out premiere of my film Forgotten Plague in the city.


From thousands of miles away, I’d gotten closer with Anil gradually via Facebook messages through which we’d worked on a number of projects together. One of those was through my documentary’s outreach campaign, where each week my team and I created posts on the film’s Facebook page where viewers, usually patients, answered the question, “If I was cured tomorrow, I would…”

Anil’s answer was startling in its simplicity.

If I was cured tomorrow, I would get my own groceries.


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