The Lion’s Mouth Opens, Lucy Walker’s critically acclaimed short documentary, begins at a dinner between the actress and filmmaker Marianna Palka and her friends the night before she gets results from a genetic test that will tell her whether she carries the gene for Huntington’s disease. Palka’s father has had a long battle with the neurodegenerative disorder and she has a 50 percent chance of having the gene that causes it. As the film readies to debut on HBO June 1 at 9/8c. We spoke to Palka about her decision to document her experience, why she chose to be tested, and whether it is better to know or not know. Because of the nature of the film, we have agreed not to discuss her test results in consideration of listeners who may not yet have seen the film.

RARECast is a weekly series by Daniel S. Levine. Levine is an award-winning business journalist who has reported on the life sciences, economic development, and business policy issues throughout his 25-year career. He founded Levine Media Group in 2013, which produces The Bio Report and RARECast podcasts. Read his full bio here. 

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