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
“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
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
“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