Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory 2.0 stars

Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory movie poster

In 2006, tech-friendly social worker Dan Cohen got the bright idea to bring iPods loaded with personalized playlists to elderly nursing home patients suffering from disconnection. Whether because of Alzheimer's, dementia, or schizophrenia, these people had lost touch with the world, and with themselves. In at least a few instances, the results were dramatic. The music would hit the patient's ears, and you could see the lights go on behind their eyes. Cohen became a man on a mission. There's some science, some sociology, some criticism Big Pharma, and some iffy cinematic representations of times gone by. But the main attractions here are the people: the ancient, marvelous, memorable human characters that Cohen wants to reach. It's more advocacy than exploration or investigation, and it could have stood to spend some more time in the trenches of geriatric care and institutional policy. But it does make the case for the worthiness of the cause.

Matthew Lickona

This movie is not currently in theaters.

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