Recent film explores the impact of Alzheimer’s disease and the strength of family through two generations

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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Emily Pate is a third-year student at Seattle University interested in Strategic Communications, learning Spanish, and working with non-profits. Her work for Rooted In Rights is focused on discussing current events in the community of people with disabilities. Her experience previous to Rooted In Rights includes writing broadcasts for KBOO radio in Portland, OR, and managing a neighborhood blog in the Seattle community. In addition to work, Emily enjoys drawing, spending time with her friends and family, and backpacking.