Yesterday Elsa Simcik saw Louie Louie, a documentary about Parkinson’s disease. Her review after the jump.
Cynthia Salzman Mondell tells the story of her father’s struggle with Parkinson’s and her family’s struggle to care for him. But don’t write it off as depressing and bleak. Mondell’s story is at times hopeful, at times sad and a lot of times quite humorous.
Fortunately for Mondell she had a charismatic protagonist to work with. Her father,
Louie, was not just an ailing Parkinson’s sufferer but a quirky, funny guy with a witty retort to every question thrown his way:
After one of his falls someone would ask, “Louie, did you fall?” and he would say, “Yep.
I fell from heaven.”
The film exposed the tension between the siblings in a very honest way. One of the most
telling scenes involves the filmmaker’s sister admitting that she resented the fact that Mondell and her brother didn’t help more. Mondell later confessed in the Q&A that it’s difficult to watch because she still wrestles with guilt.
Besides being touching, the film is also educational–both for Parkinson’s sufferers and their families. It addresses issues with professional care, each family member’s role and most of all, how it’s all about attitude.
When Louie was suffering the most, Mondell asked him, “What do you want to say to people who have just learned that they have Parkinson’s?” Louie answered in his honest, point-blank tone, “It’s a long road, a hard road, an ugly road…They need to have a sense of humor.”