Stolen Memories

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Stolen Memories is an hour-long Greenstone documentary filmed in 2002 which followed ten months in the lives of three younger people newly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.  All the people in this documentary are in their fifties, all married with children, and all struggling to come to terms with a disease that will take a devastating toll.

Roger Keeling a recently-retired naval captain, an articulate sociable man who has travelled the world, supervised crew, and given speeches at high-ranking naval functions.  But at age fifty-seven, after showing signs of depression and confusion, Roger is given the shock diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.

Soon afterwards, Greenstone producer Rachel Stace was contacted by Alzheimer’s Counties Manukau, who suggested Roger for this documentary.  Director Rebecca Mellor then followed Roger and his wife Chris for ten months to record the impact of the early stages of Roger’s illness It was a journey of the unknown for everyone. (Roger was born April 1942 and sadly passed away April 2006, aged 64)

We follow Michael Reid 54 and a father of three young children and his wife Mary as Michael has a brain scan to see whether it confirms his doctor’s suspicions and later, as he and his family learn the truth about his condition.

Also former nurse, 58 year old Patricia Hollis from Wellington, who knows what lies in store for her. As Patricia contemplates her future and her increasing inability to cope with the challenges of daily life, her husband and children talk frankly about what it is like to lose a love one little by little and what they envisage for the months ahead.

Rebecca Mellor says “no one knew how long Roger, Michael and Patricia would be able to retain their lucidity and abilities.  While their families are grateful to have time with their loved one, the prospect of losing that person, long before they actually die, is frightening and awful.”

Although most of us associate Alzheimer’s with old people, the disease can in fact affect people as young as thirty.

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Promotional Trailer

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Production Details

Producer: Rachel Stace

Thanks to: Alzheimers Counties Manukau & Alzheimers NZ, Roger & Chris Keeling (Roger Keeling April 1942-April 2006), Michael & Mary Reid, Patricia & Jim Hollis, Dr Crawford Duncan, Dr Phillip Wood & Prof Richard Faull

Exec producer: Tony Manson

Network exec: Sue Woodfield

Director: Rebecca Mellor

Researcher: Rachel Stace

Script polisher: Belinda Todd

Online editor: Andrew Mortimer

Offline editor: Margaret Kelly

Production manager: Philippa Hall

Camera: Rebecca Mellor, Warren Bradshaw, Paul Clark, Simon Ellis, Sean Rundle

Sound: Craig Mullis, Ant Nevison, Jodie Hillock, Craig O’Reilly

Production accountant: Glenda Paterson

Funded by: TV3 & New Zealand On Air