In the powerful and evocative documentary Alive Inside, we are introduced to Henry, sitting non-responsive and lost in his dementia. “When we gave him his music [Gospel and Cab Calloway] for the first time, he just woke up,” said filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett. “He went from dead to alive in front of my eyes,” as he started to sing the words of the 1943 song I’ll Be Home for Christmas and engage in conversation.
In this award-winning 2014 Sundance film, Rossato-Bennett captures the experiences of memory-impaired people as they listen to an iPod loaded with music specifically selected for them. Following Dan Cohen, founder of the nonprofit Music & Memory, we see the transformative power of music on a population that would otherwise be unreachable.
Available on DVD at www.aliveinside.us and on Netflix