IDFA 2014 #2: Alive Inside 9/10

Editor’s note:

One of the most wonderful things about living in Amsterdam (a city filled with wonderful things) is the recurrence of IDFA every November. The International Documentary Film Festival provides me (and others, no doubt) with a major hit of our drug of choice, film documentaries. I’ve been an addict since 2010 and most years I make it to an average of 10 films. This series documents (ha) my extremely subjective reviews of each film I saw. Take it with as many grains of salt as you need.

This is what documentaries are meant to be, IMO. Interesting meld of film techniques: voice-overs, extreme close-ups, graphic representations, interviews, etc. A beautiful important social subject portrayed with the utmost love and respect, motivating the viewer to try to change his/her world. Very inspiring and bittersweet. I cried all the way through and there were a lot of other sniffles in the theater.

How does music affect us? Why is it such a fundamental part of our inner selves’ interaction with the outer world? My only quibble was that the scientific explanations (pop psych to be sure) were pretty but didn’t go far enough for me. How on earth is it possible for a catatonic person to listen to Cab Calloway and suddenly start recalling memories, names and dates? It seemed quite impossible and maybe it is. Or maybe they just really don’t know.
The old old old people were very touching but the saddest for me were the non-geriatrics with early onset. Marylou was probably only about 60 and yet is totally gone. Her husband is left with a shell of the wife he married. I can’t imagine how heartbreaking that situation must be.
Worth recommending to everyone I know.


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