Movie reviewers like myself essentially rate movies on a varieties of scales from horrid to great. Yes, a pretty overused word.
The documentary now playing at the awesome Showroom in Asbury Park called "Alive Inside: A Story of Music & Memory" is well beyond great. Folks it is IMPORTANT....really important. This movie speaks to people in our lives yesterday, today and tomorrow (and even us).
This documentary is remarkably joyous ...I dare you not to have a huge beaming smile on your face at many points during this presentation...with tears not too far behind.
Simply, it tells of the quest of a retired social worker name Dan Cohen, through the power of one's own personal music play list, to unlock the memories and happiness often deeply suppressed in the elderly in todays nursing homes.
Seems like such a simple notion, and it is. Watching the many vignettes play out seeing elderly at various sad stages of their end of life become magically awoken, virtually immediately, when hearing the songs of their life.
Interviews of preeminent elder care doctors, specialists, care workers and more POUND into the viewers the ridiculously simple and successful answer that music far, far trumps expensive, minimally effective pills/meds in helping seniors navigate the 9th inning of their lives.
Why should you see this...why is this important? SIMPLE. you know someone in your life today (or tomorrow) who could benefit from this gift of personalized life journey music and you can facilitate it. The reward is off the charts magical.
Fascinating how in virtually every other culture, the elderly are utter revered by family and community. How one's elders are brought back into their own families homes in their later stages of life to to treasured and honored. How often here in the United States are the elderly, particularly with Alzheimers and Dementia tucked away from society to live their remaining days trapped inside their bodies and their minds in the 1000's of nursing homes in the USA today. The simple, money and convenience driven concept, to medicate not stimulate are seniors is all around us.
Trapped inside these nursing homes and, more so, their bodies, despite the love of family and kind health care workers, the drugs simply rob folks of their soul, their freedom, their individuality and any outside stimulation. All individuality disappears at such homes as one's entire schedule is pre-determined by others.
What the documentary showed was how one's music, ones personal life play list magically and nearly immediately releases that ability to oneself again and express individuality.
I could go on forever speaking to the utter specialness of this documentary that speaks directly to us, our lives and our families. Nobody is immune regardless of race, creed, religion, socio-economic group here in the US.
The magic is right there and we can help directly with our loved ones.
TRUST ME - this is an important, short (1 hour and 12 minutes), and magical true story that folks over all ages, yes teens and kids would connect with.
Check out this trailer (the youtube video went 10 million views viral nuts)