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The Placebo Effect

Sometimes it actually works


Inspired by the true story of Jean-Claude Romand, a man who pretended for eighteen years that he was a doctor for the World Health Organization, Saskia Olde Wolbers created Placebo. In this short film, an unseen narrator unravels the truth of her life as she lies paralyzed in a hospital bed: that her lover lied about having a family, that he lied about being a doctor, that his life is an empty dream world that has entrapped her. This dream world is manifested in the film by Wolbers' hand-built environment, a steadily melting representation of the hospital; the walls are seemingly liquid, dripping apart just as the narrator's life is falling to pieces. Saskia Olde Wolbers: Placebo, part of the New Media Series at the Saint Louis Art Museum in Forest Park (314-721-0072 or, screens continuously in Gallery 301 during regular museum hours (Tuesday through Sunday). The film remains on display through Sunday, October 26, and admission is free.
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: Aug. 1. Continues through Oct. 26, 2008

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