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Recent Films about Caregivers, Their Loved Ones and Family Battles with Disease & Disability

Posted: December 19, 2014

The following creative productions documenting family journeys through caregiving were highlighted in the Family Caregiver Alliance – National Center on Caregiving newsletter: Nov. 24, 2014.

I'll Be Me - Glen Campbell, His Music is Legendary, His Story is Human - Having received his diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, Glen was told to hang up his guitar and prepare for the inevitable. Instead, he and his wife went public with his diagnosis and announced a "Goodbye Tour." This film documents the journey. 
 
The Genius of Marian - An intimate family portrait that explores the heartbreak of Alzheimer's disease, the power of art and the meaning of family. The Genius of Marian follows Pam White in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease as her son, the filmmaker, documents her struggle to hang on to a sense of self.  
 
A Sacred Journey is a film by Ernesto Quinteros telling the story of Juan, a young man struggling with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and the steps he and his family take in combating this fatal illness.
 
States of Grace - A feature-length documentary by Helen S. Cohen and Mark Lipman about Dr. Grace Dammann and her remarkable recovery following a near-fatal, head-on collision on the Golden Gate Bridge. The film traces her recovery and a family's journey in the wake of a devastating crisis, showing the resilience of both caregiver and care-receiver, their triumphs and setbacks along the way.
 
Alive Inside - This documentary follows social worker Dan Cohen, founder of the nonprofit organization Music & Memory, as he fights against a broken healthcare system. The film demonstrates music's ability to combat memory loss, restore a deep sense of self to those suffering from it, and how the healing power of music can triumph where prescription medication falls short.  
 
You're looking at me like Like I live Here and I Don't is a total immersion into the fragmented day-to-day experience of Alzheimer's disease. The film is the first documentary filmed exclusively in an Alzheimer's care unit, told from the perspective of someone suffering from the disease.
 
The Sandwich Generation - (2006) Filmmaker-photographer couple Julie Winokur and Ed Kashi were busy pursuing their careers and raising two children when Winokur's 83-year-old father, Herbie, became too infirm to care for himself. 
 
Swan Song - When Marilyn is diagnosed with dementia at age 58, her daughters refocused their lives to care for her during her most precious years. As the disease progresses, the daughters struggle to care for a woman who is less and less like their mother, and navigate the unknown until they are forced to make a heartbreaking decision.