Thursday, November 16, 2017

Broken Memories Movie, a Touching Look at Alzheimer’s

Broken Memories movie

I had the privilege of attending a screening of Broken Memories, an indie film centered around a family dealing with Alzheimer's, and in the process gained a little perspective.

The screening was held at Writer's Guild Theater in Beverly Hills and was combined with a benefit for Alzheimer's Greater Los Angeles. In attendance were Ron and Bryce Dallas Howard, son and granddaughter of Rance Howard, who starred in the film, there to show support. This topic is especially dear to the Howards, as Rance's wife passed away from Alzheimer's earlier this year. The audience got to hear just how proud the father-daughter pair are of their grand/father, as well as speak about how Alzheimer's has played a role in their family.

Ron and Bryce Dallas Howard at Broken Memories movie screening

Going into the movie I was nervous about the subject matter. I immediately thought of The Notebook and how sad the film was. As the movie progressed, I learned that this story, while painful, was also a celebration of life. A reminder to cherish time with our loved ones. And it didn't hurt that Rance Howard played the role perfectly. He was charming and hilarious. Throughout the screening I wanted to give his character a big hug.

Being indie, the movie wasn't a big production. I felt the characters could have been developed more and the supporting cast, Ivan Sergei and Kelly Greyson, while they did just fine, weren't on the same level as Howard who was phenomenally relatable. In fact, Ron Howard said this is his father's best work. Despite it not being a big blockbuster, the feelings that the film evokes of the audience is undeniable.

Broken Memories movie screening

Many of us have been affected in some measure by Alzheimer's. According to, more than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer's. It's a savage disease that wipes away memories, is frustrating for those affected, and possibly ever harder for those left to care for loved ones who lose their memories.

A few days before the screening I spent time with my grandpa who is starting to forget things. Right now he'll call us by another name and ask us the same questions repeatedly, but overall he still remembers. Sometimes when he repeats himself, I catch myself thinking, "Grandpa, I just told you" and then feel guilty. This movie was a great reminder that he has no control of what he forgets and I am truly lucky that he still has his memories.

You can watch Broken Memories now on Apple's VOD. The film is shining light on this heart-wrenching topic and is definitely worth seeing, regardless if you have an experience with Alzheimer's.


Marie said...

Our Grandfather had Alzheimer's and it was absolutely heartbreaking to watch his demise. I can still recall as if it was yesterday, when he didn't know who I was when he was in the hospital. I was so upset that I was asked to leave his room and then I collapsed in the hallway overcome with sadness and grief. I have heard about this film but I'm not quite sure I'm ready to watch it. It's so heartbreaking. To lose your mind, is horrible.

Mica said...

I'm not sure I could watch this movie although it's great that it's raising awareness. I would hate to lose my memories - I've seen it happening to many close relatives and I know the pain it causes everyone. A very sad illness.

C said...

What a great event to attend! I'll definitely put this on my watch-list. I was so sad to hear that Rance passed away.