“Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory”

July 18, 2014 § Leave a comment

Starts on Friday, July 18, 2014 at the Landmark Sunshine Theater in New York City, and on 80 screens throughout the United States.

Producer, Regina Scully, refers to “Alive Inside” as “the little film that could.”

The film demonstrates how music connects, heals, and restores lives.

“Alive Inside” starts out with the founder of Music and Memory, Dan Cohen, interviewing a 90 year old woman sitting in a wheelchair explaining how she can’t remember anything anymore.

Dementia is a loss of brain function that affects memory, thinking, language, judgment, and behavior. People with dementia may have problems with short-term memory, keeping track of a purse or wallet, paying bills, planning and preparing meals, remembering appointments or wandering out of their neighborhood.

As people age, it is not uncommon for them to loose their independence, loose their dignity, and may even be dealing with loss of loved ones as well.

Over the course of three years, Dan visited many Nursing Homes in the NYC area including, Cobble Hill, Patterson Extended Care Nassau University, LI State Veterans Home, and North Shore University Hospital-LIJ, and placed headphones connected to nano-sized ipods downloaded with songs from their past, on those diagnosed with diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Multiple Sclerosis and Schizophrenia. As we all know music takes you back in time. When you listen to a song from a certain time in your life, you reflect back on where you were, who you were associating with, and the memories that you shared. When the elders listened to songs that they were familiar with, songs that they had grown up with, and maybe even their favorite song of all time, the results were astonishing.

Their faces lit up, they started singing and dancing along, and even became emotional. It was as if a new person was awakened. The music had meaning, and connected them to memories from the past and who they are as human beings. They were able to leave the daily routine and their illnesses behind and go into a world that they were familiar with on their own terms. By getting to know the person first, and helping people find that song, the nursing home population was able to sing and live again.

“Music and Memory” has grown from 56 nursing homes to 650 locations and has a core belief that as the population ages, they will need to do so healthily.

“It takes me back to my school days.”

“I like Cab Calloway.”

“It reminds me of riding a bike, which is how I used to earn my living.”

“Music and Memory” is a non-profit, and the nano and headphones cost approximately $50.00 each. Old ipods or financial donations are appreciated.


Article by Sharon Abella
One World Cinema


July 11, 2014 § Leave a comment

“Virunga” premiered at this years Tribeca Film Festival on April 17, 2014, in the WORLD DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION, and was graciously screened again, last night, with the generosity of Bennett Miller, the Cannes 2014 Winner for BEST DIRECTOR, for his latest film “Foxcatcher,” which will be released in November, 2014.


Bordering on Rwanda and Uganda, “Virunga” is a 7,800 square kilometre National Park in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Established in 1925, it is Africa’s first National Park, as well as, a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site since 1979.


The wildlife population, especially, the mountain gorillas (only 800 left worldwide), are under attack by illegal hunters and rebels, the LRA, Kivu, and Ituri fighting within the Congo Civil War. Not only is the park valuable from an environmental stand point, but as a mineral resource as well.


In 2010, oil was discovered in Virunga. The film alleges that an international oil and gas exploration and production company, headquartered in London and listed on the London Stock Exchange, made their way into the park to search for the precious commodity, however, the oil company states that none of the films allegations are accurate. Most recently, the company has stated that they have pulled out of the park all together, a claim, which the films producers say is false, and which is only being used as a pr strategy. All parties involved are playing with forces that are very powerful and extremely dangerous.


On April 15th, 2014, two days before the films premiere, Belgian national, and the director of Virunga National Park, Emmanuel de Merode, was shot by three gunmen while driving through the park. He and park rangers appeared many times in the documentary. Director, Orlando von Einsiedel, stated the bullets missed Emmanuel’s major organs and spinal cord, and at the time of the Tribeca premiere, he was listed in stable condition. At the screening held on July 9, 2014, the film’s producer, stated Emmanuel has since made a full recovery and is back to work in the park.


Howard Buffett (Howard G. Buffett Foundation), and author of ‘Threatened Kingdom: The Story of the Mountain Gorilla,’ stated, “Virunga is one of the most beautiful and most dangerous places on Earth. This film is about choices and heros. The choice is putting our time and effort into preserving a world treasure, and a resource for so many, OR watch the mineral resources in the park get exploited. The choice is clear.”


The goal now is to raise public awareness.


Visit http://virungamovie.com/ to learn more and get involved.

One World Cinema

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