box10.gif (1299 bytes)








Alzheimer’s film available as teaching tool on DVD

TORONTO – One of Canada’s top films of 2005 is now available as a teaching DVD for hospitals and long-term care facilities.

Memory for Max, Claire, Ida and Company is an actuality drama of eight seniors living at Baycrest’s long-term care facility in Toronto. These individuals – in varying stages of cognitive decline – share their humour, anger and fear about losing their memory.

Made by acclaimed Canadian filmmaker Allan King, Memory had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) last fall, and to date has shown at 28 film festivals around the world.

“This is a powerful teaching tool for the long-term care sector and virtually anyone who interacts with older adults,” says Nancy Webb, vice-president of Public Affairs at Baycrest. “Dementia is such a frightening, dehumanizing and unfair label. King’s film deconstructs that crippling label to reveal through the words of eight feisty residents in our nursing home that cognitive change does not mean we lose our identity, our feelings or our desire to feel connected to others.”

“This film is about seeing the whole person behind the pathology. Once we can make that leap in perspective, it completely changes the way we communicate and interact with that person and the way they respond to us,” adds Dr. Michael Gordon, vice-president of Medical Services at Baycrest.

The DVD release from Allan King Films Ltd. includes the 112-minute documentary with options to display English, French or German subtitles, plus a bonus healthcare commentary track that can be used as a teaching tool. The latter track is an audio discussion by a social worker and two psychologists who share insights and interpretations of scenes in the documentary, with particular focus on ways of communicating and interacting more meaningfully with people who are experiencing cognitive changes.

“The film goes a long way to revealing the utterly human side of people with Alzheimer’s disease or other cognitive disorders, as well as the importance of treating such people as people,” says Steven R. Sabat, professor of psychology at Georgetown University in Washington and author of Dementia: Mind, Meaning, and the Person (2006).

“The aged are as sensitive and as rich in humanity as people are at any age,” says King, whose film was selected by the TIFF Group as one of Canada’s “Top Ten” films of 2005.

To purchase the teaching DVD of Memory for Max, Claire, Ida and Company, contact Allan King Films Ltd., 416-964-7284, or go to