Dwayne Clark’s book “My Mother My Son” — the story of his journey with his mother’s struggle with Alzheimer’s — is going to be turned into a major motion picture.

By Steve Moran

A few weeks ago I saw an article at Senior Housing News about how Dwayne Clark’s book My  Mother My Son — where he tells the story of his journey with his mother’s struggle with Alzheimer’s — was going to be turned into a major motion picture. Because sometimes I can be petty and self-centered, I kind of wondered why I didn’t get the press release. But on my last work day before heading off to Europe on vacation, I got an email from Aegis saying Dwayne was available that day for an interview. I was still kinda ticked off that I had not gotten the story when everyone else did . . . or at least before SHN and almost took a pass.   

However — after getting past my ego — I realized that, in a very real sense, a movie like this is exactly what I have been advocating for . . . a movie that the public would watch that would help them to understand the beauty of aging, even the beauty of dementia and the beauty of senior living.

It was messy, I was in my car running last minute errands and had to do the interview from a parking lot while sitting in my car.

It’s All About Who You Know

A fact you may not know about Dwayne is that, besides running a thriving senior living company, he also owns a film company that today is focused on bringing true stories to life. His interest in the film world and his film company was the genesis of this project.

As the result of friendships in the film industry, Dwayne was introduced to Randy Emmitt who has done 88 major movies and his last major hit was Lone Survivor with Mark Wahlberg. After spending a day with Mark palling around Hollywood, Dwayne sent him a copy of his book “My Mother and Me” with a note saying he thought the book would make a great movie.

Randy passed his book on to Irwin Winkler, a big name Hollywood producer — with Oscar nominated and winning movies. Irwin reads the book and goes nuts over the idea of turning the book into a movie. The big negotiation was not over money, but rather Dwayne’s retaining control over how the story line will go and how the movie will be made.     

The deal has been signed and the process has begun. They hope to have a cast by the fall and could be as early as May or June of 2017.

The Impact on Senior Living and the Perception of Aging

I asked Dwayne his thoughts on the battle against ageism and the public perception about senior living and dementia care. In Dwayne’s view, the public tends to look at older people and people with dementia as “those people.” His goal is to make “those people” be much more relatable. The hope is that society will normalize elders and those with dementia.

As he sees it, the opportunity this movie presents is a unique opportunity to bring out the positive aspects of Dementia, to add humor and create a more realistic picture of the value of those people who are aging with and without dementia.

I am looking forward to seeing the movie. Maybe I will even get an invite to the premiere . . . hint, hint, hint.