Your story rings honest and true, as do all great stories, because it illuminates the universal, the love of father for family and family for father, with the radiance of the specific, a fathers' fight with the fading of the light.
Congratulation and thanks to you, Joel, for a tale well told; congratulation and thanks to Frontline and KCTS for a timely near-Father's Day airing of that tale.
The film was a labor of love and it showed. To have had Hy as your father was an experi-ence in itself. This was not a film about someone with Alzheimer's and his problems in living but about a spirited man who happened to have it. The Alzheimer's came in last for me, most likelybecause I do not know anyone close who has it.The main thrust was the beauty of the man. These are my observations of Hy as I watched:sweet, charming,honest high- spirited,actor, magnanimous,passionate,alert, quick,gracious, and articulate. Above all, Hy was an endearing man who loved his wife and children very much and who used humor to "oil the tracks." The film was over too soon! Beyond the public acclaim and attention of the film, Joel, if I may, you have given your family and its future generations a priceless legacy not of illness but of love. The countless hours of going over old home movies, choosing and editing them and then weaving them into the film, would seem to be an overwhelming task. You, as the professional, though, took the time and the patience to present a totally captivating film of a precious person, your father, Hy. Congratulations
I just finished watching POP. What a beautiful tribute to to a beautiful man. Joel, he and your mom sure raised their kids well. You and your brothers are a living tribute to the both of them. Thank you for sharing his extraordinary and yet simple life.
Mr.Meyerowitz, I thought your film on "POP" was wonderful. I laughed and it also brought tears to my eyes. Just to see the love in your eyes when you looked at your father left a warm loving feeling in my heart. I feel for you and your family because my father is 88 years old and is struggling with Brain Atrophy Alzheimer's and Cancer which has spread throughout his body. He is now under Hospice Care. He still has his sense of humor. He makes all the nurses laugh and he still flirts with some of the nurses. My mom passed away suddenly a year ago and my father went into this deep depression. I spend as much time with him as I can and someday's he knows me and somedays he doesn't. This past Sunday was Father's Day and we spent the day together. When it was time for me to leave I knelt down and wished him Happy Father's Day again he smiled and I asked him what he was smiling about he motioned for me to come closer and he said your a good daughter and he kissed me and told me he wished it was Father's Day everyday. GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.
pittsburgh,, pa 15234
Joel, I was channel surfing and came across your documentary. I was so touched by the genuine, uninhibited love, honor and respect that you and your family hold for your father. I was trying to describe to my husband what I was watching because he came in at the end, but all I could say was,"this is just the sweetest thing I have ever seen." It takes a special kind of person to selflessly pamper and care for a parent with alzheimers. I had a very close family friend who was like my grandmother. She came down with alzheimers and as sad as it was she still brought so much laughter and joy at the worst times. And there were times that we did pick up a video camera and film her. Although we did it with mixed emotions not knowing if it was respectful. But she was just so hilarious (just like your father) and we wanted memories of her that way. God bless you and your family for doing such a wonderful thing. Your Pop is quite a character.* Cristin F. P.S. I'VE NEVER WRITTEN ANYTHING LIKE THIS BEFORE. I WAS JUST SO MOVED BY MEN NOT AFRAID TO SHOW SO MUCH LOVE AND RESPECT FOR EACH OTHER - NOW THAT'S MACHO!
For the last three years, I have watched my father change from the effects of Alzheimer's. Generally, my family remains in denial, especially my mother, who is often angry and seems to have so litle patience with him, as he wanders, or falls asleep, or seems confused and helpless. His reaction time , particularly when responding to a question is very long, and she rarely waits for him to answer. My father's memory seems most intact for his years in the army in World War 2. He was a medic for a mobile surgical hospital in North Africa, Italy and France. It wasn't until 7 or 8 years ago that he began to share some of his "war stories" with me, describing some pretty racy antics.It was clear to me that the experiences from this period of his life, in spite of the fear and fatigue,played an important part in defining his adult psyche. It was a time that he shared with his buddies, but I don't think that my mother has ever "seen" or understood this part of him, even through 53 years of marriage and raising 5 children. My father has "good days" and "bad days". I am acutely aware of the shrinking window of opportunity with him. At times he seems extremely sad, thinks that people are plotting against him. Several times I have asked him what would make him happy, and he has said that he would like to go to Europe to show my mother where he spent the war. I know this is his attempt to encourage my mother to "see" him..I have offered to take them to Italy for a week, I would arrange for them to stay in a hotel next to the Vatican, and then drive down the west coast to Naples. But my mother is very reluctant to go. I don't know how to convince her that the trip is a passage to understanding past experiences and also a farewell, and a wy to share a loving adventure. I truly loved your road trip film of your father, and I especially respect the sense of nurturing your parents.You maust have shared a very spiritual relationship with your parents, because they both obviously trusted you to agree to this journey and time separated from each other. Your film reinforces my determination to approach my mother again about an adventure in Italy. If there is anyone who has some advice on the sensibility of my plan, I'd love to hear from them. Thank you.
I just finished watching "Pop" I came upon it by accident and how fortunate I was. My father was 70 when he passed away but so many things about Hy reminded me of him. He was getting a little disoriented in his older years and many times needed to be reminded about the small stuff. He was so vulnerable then. He was like a child. Your film leaves me wanting more. How lucky you are to have such a dear father who loves you so much! Thank you
I thought the film was terrific. My mother lived to be 94. During her last years, she developed Alzheimers or senile dementia. But she never lost her charm, or intelligence or her sense of humor. After my father died, she moved to Arizona and found a boyfriend about her age. She was able to travel with him and had a very good life until the senility got serious. Even then, I think she remained pretty optimistic. The last time I saw her, a few weeks before she died, it was clear her bodily systems were breaking down. I told her it was OK for her to go whenever she was ready. I think she heard me and felt liberated. Thank you again for the film.
new york, ny
Your story really hit home. It is too late but I wish I had asked my pop so many things, but I lost him at 68. I was very ill with bipolar depression and loss of a child and could not mourn then... it is all so tragic. At least you had those last years together. It was a wonderful story and I will not forget your pop....
In a day and age when the greatest struggle is retaining the status of being human your film allows us to see the benefit of commitment and loyalty toward people. I wish I could take your profound sense of humanity and instill this virtue in all members of our society. You are a blessing to your family and to my country.
I loved your documentary. I "laughed and cried" and I must admit, felt some regret. My mother is 85 and has had Alzheimer's for quite some time. 2 years ago I moved her to Jackson to be close to me and it has been the most difficult and yet most rewarding time I've ever had with my Mom. My Dad's been dead for 25 years, so it was difficult to know when her disease started, but my regret is that I didn't see it coming in time to review my memories with her while she could still remember. She doesn't always know who I am now, and she sleeps a lot--her verbal skills have deteriorated pretty much, but once in a while she hits the nail on the head and utters something perfectly appropriate for the occasion. She always says she loves me and that makes all the work and agony worthwhile.
Thanks for sharing your story. I've learned that I'll never regret anything I can do for my Mom now, and that cancels out a lot of regrets from previous years.
Thanks again. I heard part of the story on the radio twice, but pictures made it even better.
Dear Mr. Meyerowitz, Thank you so very much for sharing your father with us. We just finished watching your documentary "Pop", He was truly a gem.We feel honored to have had a glimpse into your loving relationship. Thank you once again.
victoria, british columbia
I just wanted to say thank you for making a film that treats Alzheimer's victims as something other than that. You focused on the man, and showed his dignity and spirit, not the disease.
I just wanted to say that I truly enjoyed meeting Hy tonight on Frontline!! I'll sleep with a smile on my face tonight! Jolinda Marshall
IM a 20 yr old college student trying to cope with the death of a grand father. It seems that the little time I had to spend with him still yielded so much knowledge. Your film has inspired me, provoked thought, made me laugh, and made me cry. The greatest tribute I received from this film was the idea and love of life. Your father said that he felt he was seen by so few, yet the few that did see him bennefitted more than what he ever imagined. I just really wanted to thank you for making this film and if most people decide not to view this film, they are the ones that are missing, what i feel to be one of the greatest pieces on true life that I have ever had the pleasure to view. I miss my wise grandfather so much and film is a way to immortilize the old and wise. I again thank you so very much and I hope what I do throughout my life as a teacher when I get out of college will have a lasting impact on the few that see me and what im trying to do, just like the impact your father had on the both of you,,,,,,,thanx