P.O.V.: The Genius of Marian

About This Episode


The Genius of Marian is a visually rich, emotionally complex story about one family's struggle to come to terms with Alzheimer's disease. After Pam White is diagnosed at age 61 with early-onset Alzheimer's, life begins to change, slowly but irrevocably, for Pam and everyone around her. Her husband grapples with his role as it evolves from primary partner to primary caregiver. Pam's adult children find ways to show their love and support while mourning the gradual loss of their mother.

As she loses the ability to write, Pam’s eldest son, Banker, begins to record their conversations, allowing her to share memories of childhood and of her own mother, the renowned painter Marian Williams Steele who died of Alzheimer’s in 2001. The Genius of Marian paints a powerful contemporary portrait of the impact of Alzheimer’s disease, the power of art and the meaning of family.