RIEDEL (Holger), SAHAN (NAZAN)
ARTE GEIE, MEDIENKONTOR Movie GMBH
German, English, French
TV, DVD, NON-THEATRICAL, INTERNET, VOD
Since 2004, the island of Curaçao has been home to a dolphin therapy centre for people with physical or mental disabilities. Five dolphins help the patients to regain a zest for life. This is one of the main objectives of this type of therapy; the effectiveness of which is however questioned by the scientific community.
Five-year-old Ella is already on her third visit to the dolphin therapy centre. She has learning difficulties, does not speak, has difficulty concentrating and suffers from myasthenia. This time the dolphin Chabelita and the physiotherapist Merel Schuringa are working with her. As soon as the dolphin approaches, she relaxes. Dolphin therapy is said to help develop behaviours that other children take for granted, such as smiling, talking, being more independent and open to others. Therapists use the animals’ curiosity and liveliness to stimulate, motivate and educate patients. Creating positive emotions in the patients to help them progress seems to be the key to the project, and the therapeutic dolphins have a pivotal role to play.