BAR HARBOR — The Jesup Memorial Library and The Jackson Laboratory will present a month-long film and discussion series that features a real-life perspective on the research the Jackson Laboratory does, including the impact it has on individuals like those in each film, starting on Sept. 29.
Each film screening and discussion is free and open to the public. All screenings will be at the Jesup Memorial Library. The films all begin at 7 p.m., following a community social at 6:30 p.m.
The first film, “Twitch,” will be shown on Thursday, Sept. 29, and will feature guest speaker Dana Waring, bioethics educator from the Personal Genetics Education Project at Harvard University. “Twitch” follows 18-year-old Kristen Powers as she undergoes genetic testing for the disease that killed her mother. Huntington’s Disease (HD), a neurodegenerative brain disorder, destroys an individual’s ability to walk, talk, think and reason, eventually leading to death. The film will chronicle the emotional, social and medical journey through this important test, as well as the impact it has on an individual’s future.
Then on Thursday, Oct. 6, Nadia Rosenthal, scientific director at the Jackson Laboratory, will lead the discussion around the film “On Beauty.” From Emmy-nominated filmmaker Joanna Rudnick and Chicago’s Kartemquin Films comes a story about challenging norms and redefining beauty. “On Beauty” follows fashion photographer Rick Guidotti, who left the fashion world and refocused his lens on those with genetic disorders to change the way we see and experience beauty.
On Thursday, Oct. 13, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) researcher Greg Cox and professor at the Jackson Laboratory will lead a discussion after the film “So Much So Fast.” From Oscar-nominated directors Steven Ascher and Jeanne Jordan comes a black-humored cliffhanger of romance, outsider science and the meaning of time. “So Much So Fast” is about the remarkable events set in motion when Stephen Heywood discovered he has ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and his brother Jamie becomes obsessed with finding a cure.
The last film of the series is “Decoding Annie Parker” on Thursday, Oct. 20. Based on true events, the film is the hopeful and touching story of two remarkable women and their 15-year battle against a cruel and insidious illness, breast cancer. Waged on both scientific and emotional fronts, they are drawn together not just by the disease but by their shared determination and unconventional approaches to their research and to their lives. The post-film discussion will be led by Kimberly Lieber from EMMC Breast Surgical Specialists.
Genetic Stories: A Film and Discussion Series is a partnership between The Jackson Laboratory and the Jesup Memorial Library in celebration of the Acadia Centennial. This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and is an IMLS/Cornerstones of Science project in conjunction with the Maine State Library. All films are free and open to the public. No reservations are required. Visit www.jax.org or contact the Jesup at 288-4245 or [email protected].