After sold out Wellington screenings in this year’s NZIFF, filmmakers Jeff McDonald and Bridget Lyon bring their intensely personal documentary The Inheritance to Auckland for two screenings this week.
Bridget Lyon was just 21 when she found out her mother had the gene for Huntington’s disease which gave her and her siblings a 50% chance of inheriting the disease. Huntington’s is a hereditary degenerative brain condition with symptoms usually become noticeable between 35 and 45 and lead to jerky random and uncontrollable movements called chorea, psychiatric problems and cognitive decline. Bridget and her two older brothers chose to get tested and found they too have the gene which means they will suffer the same decline they watched their mother go through, being robbed of who they are.
Bridget decided to confront the disease head on, and began filming her family’s story with her director partner Jeff McDonald. The Inheritance shows Bridget’s mothers deterioration over the last 17 years, going from an active, loving, intelligent woman to one fully dependent on carers and in full cognitive and psychiatric decline and it shows Bridget’s own attempts to ensure she doesn’t pass the gene on to another generation.
Praise for The Inheritance
There is such tremendous inspiration and wisdom in your documentary. Above all, it feels like a love story . I hope ‘The Inheritance’ is seen by many, many people. It really deserves a giant audience worldwide!
Dayna Goldfine (US award-winning filmmaker)
…. I believe Huntington families, medical researchers and the world at large will be all the better for your taking on the movie and rendering it in your personal and beautiful way.
Dan Geller (US filmmaker)
The Inheritance promo