Louie, Louie: A Portrait in Parkinson’s

  • Film
  • Discussion Guide
  • Reviews


One family’s very personal story of their father’s 33-year battle with Parkinson’s disease, and their long struggle to at first come to terms with him and then with one another.

It’s a story of a man’s courageous and stubborn determination to retain his independence even to the very end, and a loving family’s efforts to weather crisis after crisis as they watch the one they love slowly robbed of his ability to care for himself by this debilitating disease.

Time: 29 minutes


Louie, Louie: A Portrait of Parkinson’s has been awarded a Cine Golden Eagle.


Louie, Louie takes look at family and caregiving – August 8, 2006, Dallas Morning News

Discussion Guide

Louie, Louie, a portrait of a man living with Parkinson’s disease, provides an extremely insightful look into the physical and psychosocial challenges of this illness and the human will to survive. The story of Louis Salzman honors both the uniqueness and determination of a man living with Parkinson’s disease while he reshapes his life and relationships with his family.

For health care professionals, a dialogue of the movie can evoke an awakening of what is really significant to those living with chronic illnesses and how people live what is important to them. A scholarly dialogue of this film can assist health care professionals; nursing students, medical students, social workers and others to enhance their understanding of our responsibility to preserve the dignity of the person no matter what the diagnosis.

In addition, Louis’ story augments our knowledge of the coping skills individuals develop in the face of catastrophic events. Finally, the movie is an obvious portrayal that individuals do not live infirmity in isolation but share both the opportunities and constraints in their journey with those close to them. Hopefully, the following suggested discussion questions will serve as a guide to stimulate dialogue regarding the human aspect of living with a chronic illness and related disability.

Dr. Dolores Huffman

Click here to download the discussion guide for Louie, Louie: A Portrait of Parkinson’s for academics.

Click here to download the discussion guide for Louie, Louie: A Portrait of Parkinson’s for family and caregivers.

NEW CAREGIVING Article by Sally Writes, who is committed to helping people deal with Caregiving.

While the need for care is common, very little is done in the way of helping educate carers and provide them with the support they need. As the Content Manager for a small senior care site, I felt it important we cover the topic of caregiver duties and how to make the lives of caregivers easier. I know from personal experience that caring for a loved one is exhausting both physically and emotionally. Check out the article here: https://www.shieldmysenior.com/caregiver-duties/.”-Sally Writes

Celebrating America’s Caregivers

Caregivers take on a large amount of responsibility and it is often a full-time job. Of the Americans who reach the age of 65 and over, 70 percent are likely to need a caregiver at some stage of their lives. These people who give their lives up to help others should be celebrated and what better way to show the impact they can have on another’s life than through the medium of film.

Caregivers don’t just provide medical assistance, they also tend to personal hygiene, day to day tasks such as going to the bathroom and transportation. They must have patience and resilience when helping those with disabilities and are often a companion for the person being cared for. Our film on a man’s battle with Parkinson’s shows how a family can also struggle when a family member is no longer able to care for themselves. Caregivers can be a massive support but this article reminds us that caregivers need to look after themselves too. 

 caregiver Guide by Sally Writes


Louie, Louie: A Portrait in Parkinson’s is an extremely powerful documentary putting special emphasis on spouses and children in the role of caregivers. It is a great catalyst for group discussion and especially beneficial for neurology students in training. – Dr. Daniel Tarsy, Vice Chairman, Dept. of Neurology, Harvard Medical School

This film shows the effects of a degenerative illness (Parkinson’s disease) and what it takes in courage and humor for each member of the family to make it through. Essential viewing for all health care professionals involved in the care of long-term illness. – Delaina Walker-Batson, Director, The Stroke Center-Dallas, Texas Woman’s University

The video Louie, Louie: A Portrait In Parkinson’s is very enlightening for Parkinson’s patients and caregivers alike.

It shows the struggle that those affected by Parkinson’s endure on a day-to-day basis and also the trials and heartache that caregivers experience.

I would recommend it for both patients and caregivers. – Etta Slaughter RN, BSN, M.Ed. Manager, Staff Development, The Visiting Nurse Association of Texas

A powerful intimate portrait that touches on caregiver issues, this film is highly recommended. – Video Librarian

I wish someone had shown me a film like this early in my professional career – Sandra Curtis, Speech Language Pathologist, The Stroke Center-Dallas

Louie, Louie: A Portrait in Parkinson’s is a poignant, honest, real-life experience of what it means to encounter a life changing illness in the family.

This film invokes greater understanding, not only of the trajectory of his illness, but of the complexity of family relationships throughout life. I highly recommend Louie, Louie. – Janet Dahm, Associate Professor of Nursing, Saint Xavier University

This film puts a witty face to a tragic disease, making this intimate portrayal in Parkinson’s shine all the more. Thanks to Louie’s sense of humor and striking character, this enlightening film reminds audiences of how important it is to find a cure. – Kathleen McInnis, Programming Director, Palm Springs, International Festival of Short Film

I have seen many personal portraits and this is one of the strongest — you will be very moved. Allen and Cynthia are real treasures to the Dallas area.. – Bart Weiss, Festival Director, Dallas Video Festival