After caring full-time for her husband, Charlotte has to make a difficult decision about their future as his Alzheimer’s makes their day-to-day lives increasingly impossible.
For the past few years, Charlotte has been dutifully caring for her husband, whose advanced Alzheimer’s has been making their lives increasingly difficult. Throughout their many years together, her love, care, and affection have never wavered, but following a medical emergency, she is forced to put her husband into short-term care.
It is over the next few days that our story takes place. As Charlotte finds herself without her husband for the first time in years, her son, John, pays her a visit to keep her company. We follow the pair over the weekend as John tries to make his mother see the toll that caring for her husband is having on her. Their conversations grow increasingly tense as their opinions on what to do appear to be starkly different from one another, and Charlotte is forced to confront the reality of her husband's future in her care.
"Respite was born out of my own memories and reflection of my late grandfather's battle with Alzheimer's disease and my grandma's experience of caring for him. I remember being struck by the fierce love and care that she showed him, even as he faded further and further from any resemblance to the man with whom she had spent her life. I felt that it was this narrative – that of the reluctant caregiver – that offered us a fresh and authentic window into this subject.
“Taking place quietly over the course of a few days, my intention in telling this story is to capture the stillness of our central character’s life, not allowing form to create any distraction or barrier between the audience and the human drama. Our visual style will pair soft naturalistic lighting with a gentle palette of greens and browns, twinned with patient, transparent cutting choices. We hope that this will culminate in an immersion that encourages viewers to focus in closely on a character who represents the love and duty that is the reality for countless families around the world.”