Bibian Mentel to be featured in new documentary on Videoland

Bibian Mentel can be seen in a brand new documentary on Videoland starting Oct. 21. The intimate portrait "LEEF" is about Bibian's fighting spirit, her positivity and dance with death. "Initially, I wanted the documentary to be made as a memory for my loved ones, as a memoir," Bibian said. "And to inspire people that no matter how hopeless a situation sometimes seems, there is always a possibility to keep enjoying life."

The documentary shows how Bibian and her family despite after 21 years of cancer, a leg amputation, five lung surgeries, three neck surgeries, four back surgeries and 74 radiation treatments did not bow their heads to the disease. "We started filming around mine and my husband Edwin's wedding day in 2019 because the doctors predicted I wouldn't make it to our wedding day in 2020. Now more than a year later, I look back on another intense year full of ups and downs, but am still very happy that I get to share my life with my family, friends and all the loved ones around me."

Bibian Mentel: "No matter how hopeless a situation may seem at times, there is always an opportunity to continue to enjoy life."

The portrait also shows the harsh reality, said the three-time Paralympic champion. "Although I try to get positivity out of everything, this documentary also shows the difficult moments that are also part of my illness and life. But most of all, I want to show people that you have to enjoy yourself while you can."

The documentary was made by 22-year-old Jesse Bleekemolen. He found it incredibly special to be able to follow Bibian and her family so closely during an intense period. "Bibian is known for her 'live' motivation, but behind the smile and positivity is also a woman, a mother and wife who will slowly start losing the battle against the disease. In the past year, she has once again gone through quite a bit, with the odds being very high that she would not survive this."

Right time
Jesse and Bibian had many in-depth conversations because Bibian really wanted to create a document as a memory for her loved ones. "We have since filmed for over a year and now it feels like the right time to share this intimate portrait which once again shows Bibian's struggle, strength and perseverance, but also shows the story behind her smile."

The documentary "Bibian Mentel - LEEF" will be available exclusively on Videoland starting Oct. 21 and was produced by Concept Street.