Saturday, February 7, 2009

Life. Support. Music.

Review: Life. Support. Music.
December 29th, 2008 by David Johnson · No Comments · Reviews · Print This Post

Life. Support. Music.

Life. Support. Music.
OPENING: 9/22/2008
STUDIO: Merigold Moving Pictures, LLC
TRAILER: Trailer
ACCOMPLICES: Official Site

The Charge
“This cannot be true. I cannot go on without Jason.”

Opening Statement
Indie helmer Eric Metzgar presents a film that proves the strength of the human spirit. (Yeah, it’s a cliché, but trust me it applies.)

Facts of the Case
In 2004, popular underground musician Jason Crigler suffered a brain bleed on stage, collapsed, and was taken to the hospital, where his family would hear a non-stop stream of dire warnings from doctors. This is the story of Jason’s road to a stunning recovery and the incredible sacrifices his family–especially his pregnant wife–embraced to support him in his improbable comeback.

The Evidence
Life. Support. Music. may be an awkward title, but it’s a fantastic film. Setting aside the value to those struggling with brain injury–and that value is profound–this documentary offers a moving look into what it means to be a family, and how that bond is tested when a medical tragedy hits.

Brain injury is an especially tough one. Victims are stripped of their very personality in an instant, and if they are to bounce back by some miracle, they face an arduous road to rehabilitation. But pity is not Metzgar’s game here. Yes, he makes you feel Jason’s struggle. The window into his loved ones’ emotions often reveals some gut-wrenching stuff, but Life. Support. Music. is a hopeful movie. Jason’s family and friends refuse to give up hope, willing to wager their own conveniences and status quos to be at his side while he attempts the impossible.

I know I sort of blew the whistle on the trajectory of Jason’s rehab, but I don’t want anyone thinking they’re going to be faced with a brutal trek of pain and misery. You will be energized by this saga, by Jason’s amazing fortitude, and by the incredible finale, which shows the breadth of the doctors’ inadvertent miscues and the payoff of Jason’s family’s commitment to see him through to the other side–no matter which side it was. Bonus points to Metzgar’s non-intrusive film work.

Note: I can’t recommend this film highly enough, for professionals in the human services field, specifically disabilities/ABD-focused organizations. It is both a wonderful teaching tool and heartening case study on the value of simple emotional support.

Closing Statement
A legitimately miraculous story told with reverence and simplicity, Life. Support. Music. is one of my favorite documentaries

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