When author David Shenk wrote The Forgetting, Alzheimer’s: Portrait of an Epidemic, he gave us the big picture of Alzheimer’s disease. His latest project, “Living With Alzheimer’s”, a series of four short films created with funding from the MetLife Foundation and in partnership with Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, brings us to the personal level. Four world-class directors each take a different perspective when portraying the experience of Alzheimer’s, allowing us to see the vastly different ways this disease affects different people. The stories are at once heartbreaking and uplifting, as we see how in each case, the patients strive to make the most of the time they have with their friends, family, and community.
The stories range from a Cape Cod reporter, who begins writing a book chronicling his early-onset Alzheimer’s, to a South Carolina woman living in a close-knit, isolated community who makes the difficult – but ultimately rewarding – decision to step outside of her comfort zone to seek help.
Shenk says of the project, “Alzheimer’s is an insidious disease that slowly unravels the mind and the self. It shakes families to the core, and forces them to adapt in smart and meaningful ways. My mission was to recruit four world-class filmmakers to wander into this complex landscape of the mind and bring back rich stories of adaptation and perseverance. I’m so proud that I got exactly the filmmakers I was looking for.”
He continues: “If your own family is struggling with the disease, my hope is that you will be educated and comforted by these films. If you have not yet been touched Alzheimer’s, perhaps this can be your doorway into an understanding of what all of society is up against. Broader awareness and understanding is the first step toward progress in effectively stopping it.”
See the project’s website for more information.