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FILMS / REVIEWS Spain

Review: While You're Still You

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- Claudia Pinto accompanies actress Carme Elías in her fight against forgetfulness caused by Alzheimer's disease in this emotional, empathetic, agile and sensitive documentary

Review: While You're Still You
Carme Elías in While You're Still You

Tackling the devastating impact of Alzheimer's disease head-on with the deepest affection and respect, that of director Claudia Pinto for her protagonist, actress Carme Elías, and that of this great performer for her profession, her audience and the characters that have enriched her career (and therefore her life).  This is the essence of While You're Still You, distributed by Filmax and coming to Spanish cinemas on Friday 9 February, just one day before competing in the 38th Goya Awards, in the category of Best Documentary.

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Claudia Pinto and Carme Elías, close friends and co-workers, who met while filming in La distancia más larga [+see also:
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, a drama in which a woman searches for the scene of her imminent and inevitable death in the majestic setting of Canaima, one of the most remote and fascinating places in the world. Years later they met again in the Canary Islands filming The Consequences [+see also:
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trailer
interview: Claudia Pinto Emperador
film profile
]
, during which the actress started to experience symptoms of this terrible disease that annihilates memories, even the most recent ones. The two artists then embarked on their third feature film together, now in cinemas, which was shot in secret so as not to reveal Elías' condition and to keep her fragile mind active.

Over these years, filmmaker and actress travel to film festivals, visit colleagues such as the Argentinean Juan Carlos Corazza and share intimate moments and confidences. All this gives substance to a documentary that does not just recap the career of its central character, but, above all, becomes an emotional and moving portrait of a tireless, fighting and strong woman who, once her illness has been made public (it appeared in all the media), wants to help and support other people who are also ill. She holds on to living in the present with all her strength and, with the euthanasia law finally approved in Spain, she demands a dignified death. Because she does not want to end up as a being detached from what gives meaning to her existence, her emotions.

Without being overly dramatic and with smooth editing, sprinkled with images from the career of the Goya winner for Camino [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, Claudia Pinto has created a meaningful and loving film for her friend, which may even have a sequel in this fight to keep the flame of memory burning. It focuses on the world of creation, film and theatre, where Carme Elías continues to prove herself to be unrepeatable, beloved and admired.

While You’re Still You is produced by Sin Rodeos Films with Nakamura Films and Televisió de Catalunya. Its sales are managed by Filmax International.

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(Translated from Spanish by Vicky York)

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