A sensitive portrayal of dementia
Now on cinema screens across the UK, Away From Her is a powerful and uplifting story about the impact of dementia on human relationships. Refreshingly, this film starring Julie Christie and Gordon Pinsent, portrays the care home environment as sensitive and caring, if a little stark. Still deeply in love after 50 years of marriage, Grant and Fiona (Pinsent and Christie) spend their days in a Canadian rural idyll. Soon, however, it becomes impossible to ignore the fact that Fiona’s memory is deteriorating. After a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease she enters Meadowlake, a specialist dementia care home where she forms an attachment with a fellow patient, leaving Grant to repent past infidelities and trying to find a place in his wife’s new life. Certainly this is a film made with a lot of insight on the part of its 28-year-old Canadian director Sarah Polley and can only help in heightening awareness of dementia-related issues and the role of specialist dementia workers and facilities.