Alive Inside ★★★

This documentary proposes that providing iPods filled with music from dementia patients' past along with earphones to listen is an effective therapy which should be brought to nursing homes nationwide (and incidentally pushes for a charity to make this happen). To prove its point the film presents many startling anecdotal filmed sequences of severely inwardly directed Alzheimer's victims coming to life...waking up, so to speak. And it explains this by stating that the part of the brain that responds to music is the least affected by whatever causes dementia.

This is a feel-good film filled with a positive message on a vital subject. Actually, my own 95-year old mother could have been a subject of this film, deeply withdrawn into dementia. As difficult as this film was for me personally to watch, it also made such an impact that I am going to have to try this music therapy on my own mother to see how universal the message of this film actually is. However, I can't help but be suspicious when a film like this only shows the positive results, which may advance some profit for the supposedly altruistic charities . It seemed as if the remarkable successes were made on patients with a musical history. My mother has no such history. At least this film made me think, gave me hope, despite my skepticism.