Extra Handen

Four benefit recipients are retraining to become nurses. They start with enthusiasm, but what do they do once they are confronted with the harsh realities of our healthcare system? Do they then give up, like many before them, or do they pick themselves up and keep going?

The healthcare shortage is increasing day by day. In Rotterdam, they decided not to give up and started the WelSlagen project. In five months’ time, candidates are trained to become nurses who can work in nursing homes. There is great interest in this project. The candidates are pouring in. Where do they come from? From a pond often avoided by others. Namely from the pond of the UWV.

The four main characters, three women and one man passed the strict selection in June and will start their retraining in September. Although they are all very different, they share the feeling that they are at a turning point in their lives. They want to break through their situation and mean something to society. They look forward to a life in care. It’s something they already do every day, happily and with love.

Joost van der Wiel (director) graduated in 2010 from the Willem de Kooning Academy Rotterdam (film) with his film soles of Ethiopia. In 2016, together with Conijn Film, Joost made the Oscar-nominated documentary De Hoeder. In 2019, Joost fell in love with the Norwegian landscape while filming the international success documentary Drømmeland.

The documentary De Staat van Verzorging in collaboration with Conijn film is now in production.




Original title                               Extra Handen

Genre                                              Documentary 

Running time                              –   minutes

Format                                           HD video

Screen Ratio                               16:9

Language                                      Dutch  

Dutch broadcaster                   MAX 

Year of release                           2022

Director                                        Joost van der Wiel

Producer                                      Wout Conijn

Subtitles                                       English/Dutch 

Director of Photography      Ester Kool

Editor                                            Daan Veldhuizen

Sound recording                     Jeroen Les

Sound design                            Mark Pütz 

Realized with support from           Omroep Max, NPO-Fonds, and Gemeente Rotterdam.