Past screening

First Cousin Once Removed

Directed by: Alan Berliner
Runtime: 1hr 18min Year: 2012
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Directed by: Alan Berliner
Runtime: 1hr 18min Year: 2012
Country: United States
Last Screened: Thu 3rd Oct 2013

A tender and humorous portrait of poet and translator Edwin Honig as he battles with the devastating effects of Alzheimer's disease.

In his prime Edwin Honig was a distinguished and successful poet, translator, literary critic and university lecturer. At 91, however, and in the final stages of Alzheimer’s, he has lost almost all connection with his own past, his family and his personal identity.

Documenting his mentor, friend and first-cousin-once-removed across five years, award-winning director Alan Berliner takes us deep into the heart of this devastating illness with extraordinary intimacy. A complicated and courageous individual in his youth, Edwin now oscillates between lucidity and unbearable confusion. With tangible love and respect for his subject, Berliner captures moments of great humour and beauty, encouraging Edwin’s poetic spirit to frequently break free of the fog of dementia.

Revealing, articulate and moving, First Cousin Once Removed is at once a humanistic portrayal of one person’s journey into mental decline, and a call for us all to look deeper at our relationship with our own memories.