French filmmaker Jean-Albert Lievre turns his camera on his family for this intimate documentary on his mother Flore’s struggle against Alzheimer’s disease.
Once an active outdoors lover with a talent for painting, Flore found her vitality and strength deteriorating as the disease took control of her body. Unable to care for her at home, Lievre and his siblings arranged for their mother to be located to a special-care facility. But this transfer only seemed to make things worse, as her physical and mental condition become frayed, and transferring Flore to another facility only exacerbated the problem.
Eventually, Lievre takes matters into his own hands and brings his mother to Corsica, where their family had spent many happy summers. Far removed from the monotony of the special-care institutions, Flore basks in the warmth of the Mediterranean climate and begins to show signs of improvement: she is able to leave her wheelchair to walk, and she is cognizant enough to pick up her paints and brushes and resume the artwork that she had abandoned years earlier.
While one could easily find fault with some excessively artistic flourishes that Lievre uses to illustrate Alzheimer’s – most strangely, a giant soap bubble floating through the streets of Paris – the sincerity and determination that he brings to this production is truly admirable.