Pamela White wished to immortalize her memories of her mother, Marian Williams Steele, through writing a book about the respected artist who passed away from Alzheimer’s disease in 2001. However, a year into the project, White herself was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and as a result gradually lost the ability to write. Her eldest son, Banker White, decided to document the stories of both his mother and grandmother, leading to the creation of the film The Genius of Marian. The film is self-described on their website as “a powerful contemporary portrait of the impact of Alzheimer’s disease, the power of art, and the meaning of family”. The project explores the tragedy of Alzheimer’s disease across two generations, through the reaction of Pam’s family as they adapt to her Alzheimer’s, as well as Pam’s recollections of her mother, filmed by Banker. The film is a selection of the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival, and premiered on PBS early this September. If interested, you can learn more about hosting a screening here.
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