Anatomy of a Life

Film phase:Production


When Richard Snyder is diagnosed with dementia, his daughter Emma begins documenting their remaining time together. She finds herself racing against the clock to secure the care he needs — before he loses his memories, his savings, and his home. As Richard’s disease progresses, he is no longer able to speak for himself; the film finds his voice through the words of his alter ego, the protagonist of his unfinished novel. America’s nightmarish elder care system takes over Emma’s life, through both vérité footage and recreations, Anatomy of a Life portrays the reality of the end of life both by those disappearing and the ones they are leaving behind.

Anatomy of a Life is a participant of the 2024 (Egg)celerator Lab.



Emma Francis-Snyder (she/her) is a New York-based activist and award-winning documentary filmmaker. Her directorial debut, Takeover (2021), was nominated for a News and Documentary Emmy® and shortlisted for an Academy® Award. Takeover was part of the New York Times OpDoc series, and shortlisted for the IDA and Cinema Eye Awards. Emma was the Movement Speaker at the 2023 Alzheimer’s Association Imagine Gala. She has been invited to speak at Georgetown University, Princeton, and the NYC Department of Education.