The Crash Reel


Montana Premiere

In the run-up to the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, Vermont native Kevin Pearce is considered the only snowboarder who can beat his best-friend-turned-nemesis, Shaun White, the ruling champion and legend of the sport.  On December 31, 2009, Kevin is practicing a new “double-cork” trick that would get him onto the Olympic medals podium.  He lands on his forehead, sustaining a severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) that puts him into a coma fighting for his life.  His remarkable family flies to his side, including his eloquent brother David who has Down Syndrome (or, as he prefers to call it, Up Syndrome). As soon as Kevin starts to recover his first thought is getting back on his snowboard, despite doctors telling him that even the smallest blow to his head could kill him, and provoking his family to intervene.  The film crafts cinematic sequences from 232 archival sources and new verité material in combination with a contemporary soundtrack and hand-drawn graphics to create a tale of family, growing up and self-acceptance.  It unspools from a sports movie hook to a complex comeback story, asking important questions about our culture of extremes, and revealing a family’s functionality in the face of disability challenges. Winner of an Emmy Award and nominated for a DGA and Gotham Award for Best Documentary.


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