Documentary looks at Alzheimer's Disease

Spanish documentary “Bicicleta, Cullera, Poma” (“Bicycle, Spoon, Apple”), about former Catalonia premier Pasqual Maragall’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease, will receive its world premiere at the 58th San Sebastian Film Festival.

Directed by Carles Bosch, who co-helmed docu “Balseros,” Oscar-nommed in 2004, “Bicycle” will play out of competition in the Official Section.

“Bicycle” is produced by Barcelona-based company Cromosoma, with Spanish pubcaster RTVE and Catalonia’s TV3 and Xarxa de Televisions Locals co-producing.

Longtime leader of Catalonia’s socialist party, Maragall is a highly esteemed and popular figure whose fame reached beyond politics. He was Barcelona mayor from 1982 to 1997 and Catalonia premier from 2003 to 2006.

In 2007 Maragall announced that he was suffering from Alzheimer’s and decided to create a private foundation to promote radical improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of the illness.

For two years a team led by Bosch has filmed Maragall and the people around him during their crusade against Alzheimer’s.

Bosch’s docu has sparked buzz about the emotional power of the film, which is not free of humor, and the frankness of the portrayal of Alzheimer’s.

In the film, Maragall jokes he has an advantage over other Alzheimer’s sufferers: if he gets lost in Barcelona, people will recognize him.

Handled by Ramon Colom’s distribbery Sagrera Audiovisual, “Bicycle” will have a theatrical release in October in Spain. Docu benefits will go partially to the Pasqual Maragall Foundation.

The San Sebastian film fest runs Sept. 17-25.

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