It’s both wonderful and encouraging to know that two films featured at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival are helping to shine the spotlight on Alzheimer’s. This is the very sort of exposure we need to bring a critically important issue to the forefront, while giving it a human face and removing the stigma that comes with the disease.

The first, Pat XO, is a documentary produced by the great Robin Roberts. As I watched the trailer, I couldn’t help but smile. What an incredible idea to hand out video cameras to those closest to Pat Summitt and ask them to talk about this legend – the winningest coach in all of college basketball. I truly cannot wait to see this film! Coach Summitt is an inspiration in so many ways.

Also at Tribeca this year, the premiere of The Genius of Marian, a son’s intimate portrait of his mother’s struggle with Alzheimer’s.

John Anderson’s review for Indiewire describes the film as follows:

It’s remarkable film, not only for the obvious affection with which it was made, but as art. The downward trajectory of a woman in the grip of ever-worsening dementia provides only so many opportunities for visual storytelling. And while White and Fitch do have wonderful archival material to work with – their subject, Pam White, was a model, and the footage of her as a young woman sparkles in its poignancy. But for a great deal of the film, White is creating something out of imagery that occurs with a seeming randomness, but which ultimately coheres in a way that’s quite moving and singular: As well it should. Pam White isn’t a medical statistic, she’s a person with a history, albeit one that’s slipping away, at least from her.

Three cheers for Robin Roberts and ESPN, filmmaker Banker White, and of course the Tribeca Film Festival for bringing much needed attention to our fight.

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