7th November 2016
Feature Film - Documentary
Winner of the Audience Award at Sundance, Alive Inside moves people to tears but is a story of hope – and most importantly it represents an opportunity to change lives. Dementia and memory loss are becoming one of the major issues facing the world and this film shows that people need not stay isolated, locked out of the mainstream. They are not gone. They can be reached. They are ‘Alive Inside’ The film is a joyous cinematic exploration of music’s capacity to reawaken our souls and uncover the deepest parts of our humanity. Filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett chronicles the astonishing experiences of individuals who have been revitalized through the simple experience of listening to music. His camera reveals the uniquely human connection we find in music and how its healing power can triumph where prescription medication falls short. This stirring documentary follows social worker Dan Cohen, founder of the non-profit organization Music & Memory, as he fights against a broken American healthcare system to demonstrate music’s ability to combat memory loss and restore a deep sense of self to those suffering from it. Rossato-Bennett visits family members who have witnessed the miraculous effects of personalized music on their loved ones, and offers illuminating interviews with experts including renowned neurologist and best-selling author Oliver Sacks (Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain) and musician Bobby McFerrin ('Don’t Worry, Be Happy'). John King, author of The Football Factory, says, 'Incredibly moving… and it makes sense that the sound and rhythms of music could connect with the person lost inside. They say that people used to sing like the birds before we talked as we do now. Music in there in our heartbeat. A flash of sound sparked creation? Dementia challenges the meaning of existence itself by destroying memory. Do we or did we ever exist if we have no memory? I am sure the individual is still in there, the body a machine that carries the ‘soul’ for a while. This could be an incredibly important documentary if it helps people in this position. Having spent a lot of time with someone at the end of their life and suffering I know how important it is to have hope and respect, to not be written off or ignored.'