Music and Memory

The latest version direct from the filmmaker about Henry and his amazing and poetic response to receiving the great gift of his favorite, personalize music that was researched and donated to him through the Music and Memory Project www.MusicAndMemory.org

The DeMoe Family: Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Genetics

Using breakthrough imaging technology, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh are learning how Alzheimer’s pathology progresses in people with the rare, early-onset form of Alzheimer’s, whose genetic mutation determines that they will get the disease. The film follows the DeMoe family, five of whose six children carry the mutation, and we learn about the emotional and personal toll it takes.

The Nanney/Felts Family: Late-Onset Alzheimer’s Genetics

Looking at the Nanney-Felts family in Tennessee, this film explores the role of genetics in late-onset Alzheimer’s and the quest to find additional genetic risk factors for the disease.

Grandpa, Do You Know Who I Am?

This film tells five stories of children, ages 6-15, who are coping with grandfathers or grandmothers suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Maria Shriver provides commentary and delivers valuable “lessons” for the kids, urging them not to blame themselves for what their grandparents do or say. “We are all children of Alzheimer’s,” says Shriver, sympathetically making it clear that “if it’s too painful to visit, you don’t have to go.” Maria’s own father, Sargent Shriver, suffers from the disease; comparing his earlier vitality to his present condition is hard, but it is offset by good memories and an unexpected “gift”: bonds between generations that may not have been made otherwise. Ultimately, the film shows how important it is to “go with the flow,” offering up a variety of perspectives on how kids can handle a grandparent’s loss of memory through kindness, patience and compassion

Tyttonen (The Young Girl)

A woman, trapped by time and age, searches for freedom in her childhood memories.

This is a short movie inspired by my grandmother who became ill with Alzheimer’s disease and occasionally mixed up dreams with reality. This little movie portrays the ways in which people handle illness as they grow older.

I created the short film in a foreign semester in Finland in a real Finnish retirement home. It was difficult at times to work with the elderly people there but by the end of the shoot they were all very sad to see the film crew leave.