Music & Memory
Alive Inside
Review by Ross Anthony

Can music stir memories long dormant? Are victims of dementia still reachable? Can songs from the past, break a pattern of withdrawal and prompt precious moments of aliveness?

Filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett follows Dan Cohen from nursing home to nursing home distributing MP3 players to America's elderly. What's captured on film is remarkable, moving, and resonating.

As America ages, more and more of her citizens are suffering from dementia and/or Alzheimer's. The symptoms are debilitating - robbing people of their independence, communication with loved ones, and ultimately, their joy. This documentary presents heartwarming anecdotal evidence that music can revive at least some of their joy.

The production implies that music can help dementia sufferers access memories, although this is not studied here. Actually, the documentary isn't very scientific at all. It's far more human. Furthermore, it tangents into a discussion of how the Western world cares for its elderly. That discussion is as unflattering as it is important.

Beginning with the very specific and inspiring moment of one man pairing another man with music from his past, "Alive Inside" also becomes an open philosophical inquiry into mankind's bond to music in general.

Beautifully shot, warmly edited and narrated. I look forward to the kind of change this film hopes to ignite in eldercare.

-- Click here to see Books by Ross Anthony, Author --

  • Alive Inside. Copyright © 2014.
  • Directed by Michael Rossato-Bennett. Starring Dan Cohen.

Grade..........................A (3.5/4)

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Copyright © 1998-2022 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

Last Modified: Monday, 21-Jul-2014 11:50:21 PDT