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Alive Inside: The Story of Music & Memory

Alive Inside is described as "a joyous cinematic exploration of music’s capacity to reawaken our souls and uncover the deepest parts of our humanity." The film was awarded the Audience Award for US Documentary at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Special screening events are coming to the Kenwood and Mariemont Theatres and feature special Q&A sessions with the filmmakers.

Cincinnati-born filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett chronicles the experiences of individuals around the U.S. who have been revitalized through the simple experience of listening to music. His camera reveals the uniquely human connection we find in music and how its healing power can triumph where prescription medication falls short. 

In the film, Rossato-Bennett visits with family members of patients who have witnessed the effects of music on their loved ones. He also interviews experts in the field of neuroscience including Oliver Sacks, author of Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain, as well as musician Bobby McFerrin, known for his song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”

The film also chronicles the work of Dan Cohen, founder of the nonprofit organization Music & Memory, as he fights against a broken healthcare system to demonstrate music’s ability to combat memory loss and restore a deep sense of self to those suffering from it.


Because there is such a strong focus on music in this film, Rossato-Bennett enlisted the aid of Grammy Award® winning composer ItaalShur (who also happens to be his brother) to write the film's score.  Shur is probably best known for co-writing the Santana hit “Smooth” with Matchbox 20’s Rob Thomas.

There will be special in-person Q&A session with both Michael Rossato-Bennett and ItaalShur at these screenings:

Kenwood Theatre: Thursday, September 25, 7:30 pm*
Mariemont Theatre: Friday, September 26, 7 pm
Mariemont Theatre: Sunday, September 28, 12:30 pm**

*A portion of the proceeds from this evening's event will benefit the Alzheimer's Association - Greater Cincinnati Chapter, and The Alive Inside Project.
**Alive Inside can be seen at MariemontTheatre Sept. 26 – Oct. 2.

"Come Alive" by Itaal Shur from the Alive Inside film soundtrack