Utah Film Circuit: Moab, an initiative of the Utah Film Center and the Grand County Public Library, presents “Alive Inside: A story of Music and Memory,” on Thursday, Aug. 21 at 7 p.m. At Star Hall
Written and directed by Michael Rossato-Bennett and released on January 18, the film is a documentary about Alzheimer’s disease and how music therapy can help ease the suffering of memory loss.
The film follows Music and Memory founder Dan Cohen as he fights against “a broken health care system” to prove music’s ability to fight memory loss and “restore a deep sense of self.” Music and Memory is a nonprofit organization founded in 2006 to provide elderly persons with music to improve their quality of life and “to make therapeutic music a standard part of elder care.”
The film premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival in Park City, winning the Audience Award for best U.S. Documentary.
The film features interviews from family members who have witnessed the effect music has on their loved ones, as well as interviews from renowned neurologist and author Oliver Sacks and musician Bobby McFerrin.
Indie Wire’s Steve Greene wrote in a review that the film presents a moving look at music’s therapeutic value.
“Cohen is the film’s entry point into the lives of several Alzheimer’s and dementia victims,” Greene wrote. “He presents a simple hypothesis: Music is a largely untapped resource for assisting patients facing memory loss. Shown in practice at facilities like the Cobble Hill Health Center in Brooklyn, the combination of a pair of headphones and an iPod Shuffle soon becomes a helpful tool in rekindling the vitality of patients who are otherwise shown as lonely, angry or emotionally flat.”
Variety’s Rob Nelson observed that Bennett “captures some amazingly transformative results in the treatment of dementia through music.”
Utah Film Center community outreach coordinator Sallie Hodges said music has away of connecting people to times and places.
“Somebody once said to me that every time I talked about a particular song or piece of music it was in connection to something I was doing at the time,” she said. “This film exemplifies that connectivity and the effects it has on patients suffering from dementia.”
After the film, there will be a discussion with Deb Burcomb from the Utah Health Care Association, and Sam Noertker from Skullcandy Advanced Engineering will stay after the screening to discuss the nuances of personalized music and its effect on memory and language. Skullcandy has donated headphones, and donations of iPods or iTunes gift cards are appreciated.
“Alive Inside” free screening at Star Hall
Music is a largely untapped resource for assisting patients facing memory loss.
What: Utah Film Circuit: Moab presents “Alive Inside”
When: Thursday, Aug. 21, 7 p.m.
Where: Star Hall, 159 E. Center St.