Parents' Guide to

Alive Inside

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Inspiring, tween-friendly docu on music's impact on memory.

Movie NR 2014 73 minutes
Alive Inside Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 1 parent review

age 10+

Touching, Kept the family in engaged.

We watched this, with my 12 & 10 yo boys. We did hit pause to give the definition of the word Gerontologist, but all in all. We were in enthralled. I encouraged everyone to watch this.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Alive Inside has a simple but effective message: Music makes a difference in the lives of those suffering from dementia and Alzheimer's. So why is this country so much more invested in funding pharmaceuticals, leaving Cohen and his supporters to scrape for every cent, every headphone, every mp3 machine to help seniors connect to their past and to the outside world? Time and again, in clip after clip, Cohen shows how those who are previously unreachable open up once they're awakened with music. And each time, it's a heartbreaking revelation, as when Henry, hunched over in his wheelchair, suddenly begins to rock and sing and, later, talk about his past. Or when Nell, who's realizing that her memories are slipping through a sieve she can't jettison, both smiles and tears up as the music starts, allowing her to feel some measure of control over her life.

The film relies on straightforward storytelling, interviews (with experts including the esteemed Oliver Sacks), and narration interspersed with graphics to explain the science, proof that you don'tneed to gild the lily when the lily is already so substantial and beautiful. (It's sometimes repetitive, but not overwhelmingly so.) This is a powerful film that deserves the care and consideration that filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett gives his subject.

Movie Details

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