VANCOUVER PREMIERE! Alice is in her eighties and living in Iduna, a nursing home for people with dementia in Essen, near Antwerp, Belgium. Looking into the camera she states, “My memory used to be better. But you can’t keep up forever, can you?” Anita, another resident, worries about first going “nuts” and then dying from her disease. This frankness typifies Lost Down Memory Lane, one of the first films about Alzheimer’s as seen through the eyes of those who suffer from it. The eight residents of Iduna are in the first stages of the disease. Flurries of lucidity alternate with bouts of forgetfulness as the residents go about their daily routine — broken only by special events such as swimming, cycling or decorating the Christmas tree. Director Klara Van Es volunteered weekly at Iduna for three years before ever picking up a camera. This long process of gaining her subjects’ trust pays off with a poignant, authentic account of lives reaching their end — not without dignity and moments of joy. The film broke all records for a Flemish documentary when it debuted in Belgium in 2010. Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad described it as “both funny and tragic. Without moralizing, Klara Van Es shows us how the memory not only fades out of the heads and hearts of patients, but how it also leaves a void in their faces.” Colour, Digibeta video, in Dutch with English subtitles. 55 mins.
Post-screening discussion with Cathie Borrie, R.N. and Dr. Wilkins-Ho.
Cathie Borrie R.N., Vancouver author and Alzheimer’s educator. Her comments will include readings from her lyrical memoir The Long Hello (Nightwing Press, 2010), shortlisted for the CBC Literary Awards. The Long Hello unearths the love, longing and loss that surge to the fore when a parent is ailing through Alzheimer’s disease.
Dr. Wilkins-Ho is a Geriatric Psychiatry consultant at Vancouver General Hospital, Vancouver Community Mental Health Services, and the Northern Health Authority. He is a UBC Clinical Associate Professor in the Geriatric Psychiatry Program.
Co-sponsored by Older Adult Team, Richmond Mental Health Services.
Moderated by Dr. Harry Karlinsky, Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia.
Film Website & Trailer