CASS, W.Va. —Alzheimer’s disease is an illness that has touched nearly every family. Now a West Virginia filmmaker has tackled the topic with a movie shot in his homestate.
J.T. Arbogast is a native of Cass, in Pocahontas County. He’s also the writer, director, producer and star of “Angel’s Perch.” The story centers around Jack, a successful Pittsburgh businessman who returns home to Cass when his grandmother is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
“It’s reached the point when decisions have to be made because that person can no longer be on their own anymore, can’t be living by themselves anymore because they’ve become a danger to themselves,” explained Arbogast.
The movie is fiction but the plot and characters are people Arbogast knows well. That’s because he came up with the idea when he returned home in the 90s to help with his grandmother who had Alzheimer’s.
“There was something sort of poetic in her struggle to hang on to her memory while she’s living in this town that the state is preserving as a captured memory,” Arbogast said. “So that’s where it all started.”
Arbogast, who’s been in the movie business for years, knew from the get go he would eventually set a film in the place he grew up.
“Part of writing this film and bringing this film home to shoot was about shining a light on this place that we call home,” said Arbogast. “The family and community (in Cass) are so proud to be a part of it.”
The movie premiered last weekend in Charleston during FestivALL. Over the next two weeks it will be coming to theaters in Elkins, Huntington, Beckley, Wheeling, South Charleston, Morgantown and Pittsburgh.
Arbogast has also secured screenings in Los Angeles, New York, Dallas and Chicago. He’s continuing to receive help from the Alzheimer’s Association, which has backed the project from its inception.
To find out more about the movie and where you can screen it, log on to www.angelsperch.com.