Alive Inside 'powerful and moving'

Last updated 12:30 08/08/2014
Alive inside

REAWAKENING: Dan Cohen provides iPods to dementia sufferers.

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Film review: Hill of Freedom Alive Inside 'powerful and moving' NZ Film Festival review: Locke

It's not often that I find myself laughing and crying in quick succession in a movie.

But Alive Inside has a very powerful and moving message for anyone whose life has been touched by dementia.

Society has neglected a large and growing group of dementia sufferers and condemned them to the scrapheap before they die.

Social worker Dan Cohen's campaign to provide iPods to dementia sufferers is the inspirational theme of the documentary.

Cohen loads the devices with music that reflects each individual's life story, and the awakening in part of the brain that results is a wonderful story to watch.

It brings hope that the patients, by responding to their past through the music, can recover some of their lost dignity and personality.

Film-maker Michael Rossato-Bennett features Oliver Sacks and other neurology experts to explain why Cohen's work is such a life-changing therapy.

It is also a glimmer of hope to those who fear dementia in old age or earlier.

This movie should be compulsory viewing for those who run/own/work in/visit the large number of care facilities for the elderly, both residential and those offering daily services and respite care.

Music therapy is light years ahead of drug therapy in my opinion and I'm sorry that it is too late for me to seek this therapy for a much-loved mother who died with dementia.

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