Your mother gets Alzheimer's at 60. If you are film-maker Banker White you create an award winning documentary. Then you turn it into national advoacy.
Early onset Alzheimer's can shake any family. Coming soon after the decline and death of her own mother from Alzheimer's is even more tragic. Now imagine prior to the diagnosis: the grandmother was an internationally reknown artist, the mother an actress and model. One son is an award winning film-maker, another a professor and scientist, the daughter now mother of 3 young children, the father a partner in his firm, friendships date back over 30 years from a singing troupe to tennis, years of family gatherings from Martha's Vineyard to Christmases. Add in a family unique in today's time- extra-odrinarily close, loving, and having had an enriching family life around the hub of their mother's love.
In Genius of Marian, director Banker White has managed to portray it all in a way that is as much about a family's love as it is about the nightmare of watching the decline of Alzheimer's in someone so young. While paying tribute to the art of his grandmother and the vibrancy of the life that Pam White led to the stuggles she and her husband face daily from dressing to bathing, White has made an extraordinary film that is neither overly sentimental nor dishonest in the complexity among the entire family.
Perhaps this is why the film- appearing on PBS this fall- has swept the Indie Documentary recognitions including film festivals such as Tribecca, Camden and Washington.
Banker, his co-director wife Anna, and the entire family is putting their time and support behind an ongoing outreach education program The Caring of Marian. For more see numerous articles now and following in DemandDesign.net.
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