Alive Inside


Action / Documentary / News

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 73%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 93%
IMDb Rating 8.2 10 2564


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November 25, 2014 at 07:36 AM

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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ([email protected]) 10 / 10

Joyfully inspirational, heart warming (and breaking); one of the year's best films and a must see.

ALIVE INSIDE (2014) **** Docufilmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett's look at one man's crusade to incorporate music therapy to the aged in nursing homes in America focuses on Dan Cohen, founder of a non-prof organization Music & Memory, details the struggles in finding funding and donors for his life-altering miraculous exercise in tapping into the neglected elderly who are afflicted with Alzheimer's and dementia among others who have lost the capacity to retain identity. The footage of wizened, nearly comatose patients and residents responding to the simple application of a headset with music is astounding to say the least. Joyfully inspirational, heart warming (and breaking) the film's seemingly easy efforts to awaken the human spirit (and for them to remember) is startling just as it is in the fact that it has not been overwhelmingly accepted (but the baby steps are paying off finally). You are simply made of stone if you are not driven to tears while smiling in spite of them. One of the year's best films and a must see.

Reviewed by Douglas Barnhart 10 / 10

Life changing documentary

I had the privilege to see this at the Sundance Film Festival. It was the most memorable film experience of my life.

It will change the way you view the elderly and those with dementia. In shows that in the midst of what seems to be the overwhelming burden of the memory loss of dementia, there is still the hidden spark of who the person was and is. This spark is revealed as these elders hear the music of their lives. It is truly amazing to see people re-enlivened and joyful.

As a part of the Sundance experience we were able to have a question and answer with the director. It was evident that this film was made because he discovered something amazing and had to share it. This has the potential to change the lives of millions of elders. Truly the best of what indie films are about!

Reviewed by blanche-2 10 / 10

a tremendous, moving experience, not to be missed

"Alive Inside" is the work of director/writer Michael Rossato-Bennett and Dan Cohen, who is the founder of the nonprofit organization Music & Memory. Cohen goes into nursing homes and sets patients up with ipods and earphones, and plays the patient's favorite music. This is sometimes learned from the family, sometimes from the patient, sometimes it's an educated guess.

The transformation in these patients is, I guarantee you, one of the most remarkable things you will ever see. It is pointed out that there is no medicine that can do this for these people, that they are overmedicated, and that the U.S. can save literally billions and billions of dollars by introducing this program into nursing homes. And it keeps elders out of those same nursing homes and with their families.

The music awakens memories in the person, it socializes them in a way they haven't been before, it calms them, it brings a smile to their faces. People who were sitting slumped over in a wheelchair not only begin to sing but dance. Truly remarkable.

The film shows one woman who has been cared by her husband for ten years without medication by playing her music for her.

I have never seen anything like this documentary, and it has really caught on with the public. A youtube video of one patient, Henry, went completely viral; the states of Wisconsin and Utah are adopting the program into all of their nursing homes, and the list of nursing homes incorporating Cohen's program is growing daily.

What Music & Memory needs now are donations, headphones, and ipods. These are always a need, though I suspect once this documentary is released he will have much more support -- but he will also have a lot more interested nursing homes and people.

The idea is to not throw away our elderly people, to get the younger generation involved so that they can receive the gifts these wonderful people have to offer.

Alive Inside is opening nationwide but only in some major cities. Hopefully this will be on demand on cable, and the DVD itself is going to become available. I urge you not to miss this incredible documentary. It will be a life-changing experience not only for you but for your loved ones.

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