Where Is Nancy? is an emotionally shocking documentary following the tragic disappearance of 55-year-old Alzheimer’s sufferer Nancy Paulikas after she wandered from an LA Museum.
Director Thiago DaDalt devotes keen attention to the difficulties of tracing Nancy’s steps, and the emotional toll on her parents, friends and husband.
After Nancy’s disappearance, her family conducted a search for her, hoping to find her as a Jane Doe anonymously submitted into the care system. They independently researched many care homes, spreading posters and searching for her despite the holes within the tracing system.
DaDalt masterfully documents their tragedy with respect and emotion, detailing their lives before and after her disappearance, meanwhile educating his audience on the dangers of wandering amongst Alzheimer’s patients.
In an interview with Thiago, he described how cases of wandering were underrepresented. He realised it when his fictional short film was deemed unrealistic by an Alzheimer’s organisation who said “no one would go missing in LA for more than two days. That someone with Alzheimer’s would be rescued really quickly”.
His film exposes the reality behind an unthinkable tragedy, an “interesting, important story to tell”, giving a “voice”.
He visually recreates the emotions faced by the family through interviews, recreations of her disappearance, CCTV-footage, and following the search for the truth.
Overall, Where Is Nancy? is a poignant and unforgettable documentary, provoking the audience to sympathise whilst educating them on the realities of Alzheimer’s and disappearances.
Where Is Nancy? premiered at Manchester International Film Festival on the 14th of March.