Alive Inside: A Story of Music & Memory

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USA | 2014 | 74 minutes | Michael Rossato-Bennett

August 29 - September 5, 2014

This emotional and inspiring documentary explores the powerful effect that music can have on Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, as shown when social worker Dan Cohen brings iPods filled with meaningful songs to nursing home residents.

On a whim, New York-based social worker Dan Cohen decided to share the music on his iPod with the residents of the nursing home where he was working, making a remarkable discovery: many Alzheimer's and dementia-afflicted patients suffering from memory loss awaken when they listen to music from their past. Alive Inside investigates the mysterious ways music reconnects patients with the memories and emotions of their youth, blending personal stories of connection with interviews of medical and musical luminaries, including renowned neurologist Dr. Oliver Sacks and musician Bobby McFerrin. But it is the amazing footage of this method in action that earned this film the audience award at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.

"The scene in Alive Inside of 94-year-old Henry coming back from the dead may stay with you as long as you live. It is not describable; you must see it. There are at least three scenes of this magnitude in this new, inspiring, and terribly important documentary." - Jen Graves, The Stranger

  • Director: Michael Rossato-Bennett
  • Country: USA
  • Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 74 minutes
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Awards: Sundance Film Festival 2014 (Audience Award for Documentary)
  • Format: DCP