The Genius of Marian

The Genius of Marian follows Pam White in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease as her son, the filmmaker, documents her struggles to retain a sense of self.

The Genius of Marian is a visually rich, emotionally complex story that follows Pam White in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease as her son, the filmmaker, documents her struggles to retain her sense of self. After she is diagnosed at age 61 with early-onset Alzheimer’s, life begins to change for Pam and everyone around her. Pam’s husband grapples with his changing role from partner to caregiver. Her adult children each find ways to show their love and support while mourning the slow loss of their mother. Pam deals with the fear that she will be institutionalized for her disease, as her own mother was before she died of Alzheimer’s in 2001. *The Genius of Marian not only chronicles the progress of Pam’s disease, it also serves as a meditation on what we inherit from the generations before us and the role of memory in creating legacy.



"The Genius of Marian is by far the most meaningful representation of a family’s experience with this disease that I've seen (and I've seen a few). Its value as a conversation--starter for families and caregivers cannot be overstated"

Susan Rowlett, Manager of Care Consultation & Clinical Education, Alzheimer's Association, MA/NH Chapter

"It’s remarkable film, not only for the obvious affection with which it was made, but as art."

Indiewire Magazine, April 2013

"Prepare for a touching accomplishment in documentary cinema. The Genius of Marian is delicately moving, an important film for anyone experiencing or afflicted by Alzheimer’s disease."

The Examiner (Boston), April 2013

"I had no idea how much I needed to see this film. It helped me feel less alone and to remember that Alzheimer’s is not a death sentence, but a chance to connect in a new way."

Chris Riley, family caregiver for her mother Diane, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and FTD in 2009

Premieres & Awards

Best Documentary Award

Camden International Film Festival 2013

Legacy Award in Creative Expression

Rosalinde Gilbert Innovations in Alzheimer’s Disease Caregiving 2013

Best Documentary Feature Award

Heartland Film Festival Crystal Heart 2013

Jury Award Best Feature Documentary Film

Washington West Film Festival 2013

Audience Award

Woods Hole 2013

Best Documentary Feature Film

John Paul II International Film Festival 2013

Official Selection

Tribeca Film Festival 2013, AFI Docs 2013, Independent Film Festival Boston 2013, hotDOCS – Doc Soup Special Presentation 2013, Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival 2013, Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival 2014 , Moscow International Film Festival, Thessaloniki Doc Festival 2014, Rooftop Films Summer Series 2013 Cinema By the Bay - San Francisco Film Society 2013, St. Louis International Film Festival 2013, EBS International Documentary Festival Korea 2013, Boulder International Film Festival 2014, ArcLight Documentary Film Festival, Berkshire International Film Festival, Martha's Vineyard Film Festival 2013, Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), Vermont International Film Festival 2013, UNAFF International Documentary Film Festival 2013, HotDocs Bloor Cinema (Toronto), Gold Coast International Film Festival 2013, La Costa Film Festival 2013, Carmel Art and Film Festival 2013, St. Louis International Film Festival 2013, Boulder International Film Festival 2014, Inspire Health Film Festival 2014, Belleville Downtown DocFest International Film Festival 2014