France, 93 minutes 1.85 — 5.1

release date
24 september 2014
In this inspiring and intensely personal documentary, filmmaker Jean-Albert Lièvre confronts his mother’s Alzheimer’s disease. At first, Flore is placed in a specialized institution and, with her condition getting worse, was destined to a prison like facility, medicated to a state of near-stupor.

Watching her condition steadily decline, Lièvre, heartbroken and desperate, takes Flore out of the institution in a wheelchair and installs her in a house in Corsica. There, surrounded by the sea, the sun and the wind, and no longer medicated, she begins to walk, smile and even paint again.

Chronicling Flore’s life over three years, he learns that the debilitating condition is not something you die with, it’s something you live with. What began with a cell phone camera recording the negative effects of drugs, became a touching film about hope, about recovering dignity, and ultimately, about a son’s gratitude.
by Hollywood Reporter
Jean-Albert Lievre explores the deepening fog of Alzheimer’s,. His film — which began with cellphone videos to show a neurologist and blossomed into a full-time project — is both dispassionate and intensely intimate the film finds its stride as an unexpectedly hopeful exploration of a terribly sad situation. Ultimately it’s a portrait of love, patience and the pursuit of a more humane, holistic approach than the drugs and institutionalization of conventional Western medicine. The wild beauty of Corsica plays no small part in the healing, and Lievre, who also serves as DP, is attentive to the landscape’s changes through the seasons and its effect on his mother. With his judicious use of home movies, he shows the importance of the place to Flore: In decades-old footage she romps on the beach with her young children, her vibrancy and independence fairly leaping off the screen. There are sudden bouts of sadness, too, tears that Flore can’t explain, much as she can’t explain, in her nearly post-verbal state, most of what she’s feeling. An especially poignant comparison of contemporary and vintage footage. That’s a common experience as parents age, but in Flore’s gaze Lievre’s film confronts a specific mystery about an individual human spirit, a mystery that brain scans like those glimpsed in the documentary could never unravel.

Sheri Linden Hollywood reporter

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