Friday, February 24, 2017

Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me A country music icon's fight with Alzheimer's

The documentary I chose to analyze is Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me. The documentary was produced to give viewers a first-hand look at the crippling effects of Alzheimer’s and to spread awareness of how common the disease really is. The film follows world renowned Country Music artist Glenn Campbell on his farewell tour as he battles his difficult battle with Alzheimer’s disease. In 2011 Glenn, and his wife, Kim, made history by going public with his diagnosis. This is the first time any major celebrity shared such an experience with the world. The film follows the Campbell family as they embark on Glen’s one hundred and fifty-one concert farewell tour. This is an intense drama about an unbreakable bond between husband and wife. I’ll Be Me is the true story about how America’s greatest country star refused to give up his music or his family, despite facing a terminal brain illness.
            The Campbell family almost immediately came forward with Glen’s diagnosis, and I believe that his courage and unbreakable love for music is what prompted this film. In several interviews throughout the film other music stars spoke about how Glen’s condition was worsening at an alarming rate, however, he was still a fabulous musician A little hard to work with, yes, but still a very talented man. He had to have a teleprompter displaying lyrics to songs he had been singing for decades because he could no long remember them. Yet the man could play and sing like there was no tomorrow. “His music will be the last thing to leave him” his wife claims. “It’s the thing most embedded in him”.  
            This film was really geared towards Glen Campbell’s fans, as well as, people who also know of someone who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. However, the film received a whole bunch of good reviews quickly expanding its audience. The film received a perfect one hundred percent positive review from the website Rotten Tomatoes. These perfect reviews attracted a much larger audience due to how well the documentary was produced. One critic writes “Life is the collection of memories, and Campbell is losing them. But there is solace in the reality that you will not miss what you cannot recall” (Wheeler).
            This film was produced in order to spread awareness of Alzheimer’s disease. The documentary is filled with highly accredited individuals both studying Alzheimer’s and those who have witnessed the disease take its course. The two main interviewees were Glen’s neurologist Dr. Ronald Petersen MD a highly accredited man in the research of Alzheimer’s, and fellow country music star Brad Paisley whose grandmother passed away from Alzheimer’s and mother who is currently suffering from the disease. Both individuals have witnessed what the disease can do to someone. There is also a great amount of emotional appeal throughout the film Glen’s condition worsens to the point where he can no longer remember his children’s names. He barely can recall that they are his children. The viewer witnesses an unbreakable bond between Glen’s wife, Kim, and Glen. Kim describes herself as being Glen’s “rock”. The person he turns to when he can’t recall where he is, or what he is doing. A few frightening facts are also listed throughout the movie such as that compared to the defense budget, the price of approximately one bomber is how much is spent on Alzheimer’s research in the United States. The viewer is made very aware of how frightening this disease is, as well as, how little awareness there is of this crippling epidemic.
            The story is told mainly from the point of view of Glen’s wife, Kim Campbell. She talks the viewer through how Glen’s disease is progressing, and how the family helps him deal with his loss of memory. The documentary followed Glen and his family as they embarked on their farewell tour.
            I thought the documentary was great and very moving, I give it five nachos . I’m a huge fan of Glen Campbell’s music, and I knew he had Alzheimer’s, but I’ve never really experienced the disease in person or on film. I think everyone should watch this to show them how crippling and unchecked this disease really is. Glen went from the most popular country star of all time to a man who couldn’t remember his own children.

Works Cited
Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me. Dir. James Keach. Perf. Glen Campbell. PCH Films, 2014. Film. Netflix. 24 Oct. 2014. Web. 22 Feb. 2017.

Wheeler, Brad. "Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me." Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me (2014) - Rotten Tomatoes. N.p., 24 Nov. 2014. Web. 24 Feb. 2017.

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