Film Legend Makes Memories at American Library in Paris

Posted Wednesday, March 23, 2011 - 10:31
Olivia deHavilland at the American Library in Paris

Film legend Olivia de Havilland attended a special screening of the film I Remember Better When I Paint: Treating Alzheimer’s Through the Creative Arts March 22 at the American Library in Paris. De Havilland narrates the documentary by Berna Huebner and Eric Ellena, and she introduced the film, telling the audience that “because, like many of you, I have lost precious friends to this affliction, I asked Berna if the film would be accompanied by a narration. When she said yes, I said I would like to do that narration. Last summer, Berna took me up on my offer. And in a few minutes you will understand why I am very glad she did.”

Huebner also welcomed the audience by explaining that she was motivated to make the film by her own mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s.  "It's becoming an epidemic," she said, asserting that there are 36 million people with the disease, and by 2050 the number will reach 100 million. The documentary shows how working with Alzheimer’s patients through the arts can improve their quality of life enormously; the film also dispels myths about Alzheimer’s, including the notion that it is an inevitable result of aging.

De Havilland, who is a vibrant 94 years old, has lived in Paris since 1954. She and Huebner are both longtime supporters and former board members of the American Library in Paris, an oasis of American culture under the shadow of the Eiffel Tower founded by the American Library Association in 1920. A book based on the film is forthcoming.