In 2008, Pam White set out to document her late mother's life—Marian Williams Steele—who passed away after a battle with Alzheimer's, but who was also a prominent and recognized impressionist painter of New England. However, a year into the project, Pam herself was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's.
Pam's son, Banker White, eventually continued her work in a documentary that would later be called "The Genius of Marian". In the film, White not only recounts his experiences with his mother's Alzheimer's, but also those of her and her mother's; a showcase of how the terminal disease affected two generations of the same family.
"The Genius of Marian" is notable because it does not touch on the science or medical implications of the disease. Rather, it is a stark and deeply human narrative that delves into the burdens and trials Alzheimer's brings upon families.
PBS POV aired the film nationally on September 8th, 2014. Its tagline reads "The tragedy of Alzheimer's, the power of art, and the meaning of family", and it has since garnered much attention for the intimate and tenderly stressful light it sheds upon the disease of Alzheimer's.
Read more: PBS shows Alzheimer’s toll through filmmaker’s mother