Sundance 2014: Alive Inside

Jan 23, 2014

You may be one of the millions of people who’ve seen the viral video of Henry, an elderly man in a nursing home who popped out of the fog of dementia when he heard a cherished tune from his youth. That video is actually part of a larger documentary called Alive Inside that explores the healing power of music. It’s premiering at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and Friday we’re joined by the film’s director, Michael Rossato-Bennett, and social worker Dan Cohen, who’s trying to convince the world that music can enliven elderly people suffering from dementia and also help us provide them better care.

Alive Inside: A Story of Music & Memory premiered Saturday at the Sundance Film Festival in the U.S. Documentary category. Screenings will be held this Friday at 9:45 p.m. at the Broadway Centre Cinemas in Salt Lake City, and Saturday at 11:30 a.m. at the Library Center Theatre in Park City. For more information, visit the Sundance Film Festival 2014 web site.

Watch an excerpt from the film at VideoWest. It features Henry, a 94-year-old man who lives in a nursing home in Brooklyn.  It reveals the larger point to the film … that music is not only magic but can be a backdoor into the mind.


  • Michael Rossato-Bennett is the founder and executive producer of Projector Media. He directed and produced Alive Inside, which is his first full-length documentary film.
  • Dan Cohen is the founder and executive director of the non-profit organization Music & Memory, which provides personalized digital music to the elderly and infirm.