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You’re Looking at Me Like I Live Here and I Don’t  
(2012) 53 min. DVD: Peripheral Productions
Available from store.yourelookingatme.com

Many filmmakers have tackled the subject of Alzheimer’s disease, but few have created as heartbreaking a work as Scott Kirschenbaum, who focuses here on Lee Gorewitz, a patient at an Alzheimer’s and dementia care unit in California. The documentary follows Gorewitz as she ambles through her surroundings, where life unfolds in a slow-motion series of mundane activities and interactions. Gorewitz mostly speaks in seemingly disconnected sentences that bear no relation to the questions she’s asked, and the only clue that she seems to be aware of her situation is during a very brief struggle to recall her birthplace. At some moments, however, she appears lucid and even funny—performing an impromptu dance when hearing Bobby Darin’s “Beyond the Sea,” and adopting a mock-horror look over the idea that Kirschenbaum’s camera crew will follow her into the bathroom. Around her are patients who’ve either retreated deep into silence or have lost their physical mobility—Gorewitz observes one sleeping woman in a wheelchair and deadpans to the camera, “That one looks like it’s dead.” It’s tragic that Gorewitz is clearly a vibrant and loving personality—she interacts with the facility’s staff with sincerity and appreciation for their work—and her bored gaze during therapy sessions suggests someone who wants more out of her existence. Many will be moved to tears by Kirschenbaum’s riveting view of an individual whose mind and body have sepa- rated. A powerful portrait of the sad ravages of Alzheimer’s, this is highly recommended. Aud: C, P. (P. Hall)

Video Librarian
Vol. 29 No. 4

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