Glen Campbell documentary ‘I’ll Be Me’ a powerful, profound look at Alzheimer’s

I finally had the chance to see the documentary about Glen Campbell called, “I’ll Be Me.” I highly recommend seeing it, even if you are not a fan of Campbell’s music.

The documentary is an unflinching yet loving look at how Campbell and his family have managed his Alzheimer’s diagnosis. The film once again confirms the power of music. It was amazing to see how long Campbell’s music ability endured, even as he entered the late middle stages of the disease.

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The film, made in conjunction with his family, doesn’t shy away from the ugly aspects of Alzheimer’s. Viewers witness Campbell’s temper, repeating questions, communication difficulties, wandering, discussions of incontinence episodes and paranoid outbursts.

Viewers get a behind-the-scenes look at the sometimes chaotic backstage scene before shows. As we all know, those with Alzheimer’s have good and bad days, until they end up with more bad ones than good ones. When you are performing in front of hundreds of people, the good and the bad are magnified.

Campbell is now in the final stages of the disease and lives in a residential care facility.

For Campbell fans it will be difficult to watch one of the greatest guitarists of all times deal with such a debilitating disease, but his phenomenal guitar work is on display throughout the film, as is his sense of humor and his fighting spirit.

If you’ve seen the film, please share your thoughts.


Filed under Awareness & Activism

7 responses to “Glen Campbell documentary ‘I’ll Be Me’ a powerful, profound look at Alzheimer’s

  1. I am glad the film truly shows what this disease does to the patient, and to the loved ones (although his wife certainly appears to have weathered the horrible storm well – at least as she was portrayed in the film.)

    I hurt for Glen Campbell while watching concert after concert after concert (more than 150) take place with someone who needed normalcy and routine more than he needed to prolong his singing legacy. A performance tour of that nature would be arduous and painful for a healthy entertainer; witnessing its effects on Glen caused me to conclude that it was ill-advised. This is just my opinion, but it’s one about which I feel very strongly.

    • Thanks for sharing. It was difficult to watch at times, and we know how difficult change can be for those with Alzheimer’s. Perhaps a smaller tour would have been better for all involved, but the family seems comfortable with their decision.

  2. I’m a Glen Campbell fan and saw his Farewell Tour. It was painful to watch, as from the get-go, he had to re-start his opening song a few times before he got in a groove. Also, he’s still a fantastic guitarist, but kept playing the wrong key and his daughter kept whispering which key to play in. Yet the audience loved him and gave him several standing ovations throughout the night. It was good to see him do all those songs for the final go ’round, yet heartbreaking never the less. He still looked like a star. He has the perfect showman stance and stage presence.

    • It did seem like despite the chaos, he often was happiest and most at ease on stage, playing his guitar. My mother was ill when he toured, and I missed the chance to see him live, so I’m glad I at least saw some of the performances via the film.

  3. ramona espinosa

    I Missed It. Please air it again. I thought it was on HLN only to find out it was on 7/4/15 on CNN By the time I realized the correct station, it had aired 4 hours before. Or, tell us how we can see it in the near future. This is an important documentary as it brings attention to this dreaded disease and the need for research. I took care of 2 patients that had Alzheimer’s. It is heart breaking to watch the patient decline mentally, physically and emotionally. My heart goes out to Glen Campbell and his family.

  4. Pingback: Marking 7 years since Mom’s death | The Memories Project

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