Alive Inside (2014) Movie Script

How old are you?
How old am I?
I'm 90 years old.
What was life like when
You were a little girl?
Oh, god.
I've forgotten so much.
I can't...
I've forgotten so much.
I'm very sorry.
No, it's okay.
What have you forgotten?
I've forgotten what I used to
Do after I became a young lady.
I've forgotten so much.
I can't remember.
I've been here...
I've been here... I've been
Here 90 years.
And if I could remember,
I would tell you, but I don't.
I can't remember.
I want
To try an experiment.
I want you to try and let the
Music take you back
Into your memories.
To travel back into time...
and then we'll stop,
And you can tell me
Where it took you.
You ready?
O when the saints
Go marching in
when the saints
Go marching in
That's Louis Armstrong.
Yes, I want to be
In that number
when the saints...
now when the saints
go marching by
He's singing "when the saints
Go marching by," and it
Takes me back
To my school days.
I would like
To hit the number
Mama told us not to go listen
To him, and
We would sneak off at night,
And bring back pictures
Of the dancers...
and I worked in Kingstown for
Nine years in the "E" building
In Kingstown...
my birthday November 20th...
that was in the wartime...
I was working in ft. Jackson...
and my son,
On February the 4th, was 69.
I didn't know I could talk so
This is Dan Cohen.
Six years ago, he volunteered
At a nursing home, and
What he experienced there
Changed his life.
Dan asked me to film him
For one day.
Adjusting the camera.
Go get the...
he wanted to show
People what he was seeing...
what was happening when he gave
Elders with dementia
Music that they had loved.
Music connects people
With who they have been, who
They are, and their lives.
'Cause what happens when
You get old is all the things
You're familiar with, and your
Identity are all just being
Peeled away...
what unfolded that
First day moved me so much,
I ended up following
Dan for three years.
Did you work with
Elderly people before?
Well, I'm
A social worker, and so I have
Worked with elderly people
When I was...
Actually for my internship, but
It really wasn't...
Most of my life was
Spent in the computer industry.
And this is sort of, for me,
Putting two things
I love together.
We really want to learn what
Music someone's going to really
Recognize and enjoy.
One of the residents
Is a resident who likes
Gospel music.
Church was all his life, and
I think that
We could start with him.
Henry, speak to me!
I want to hear your voice.
Can you talk to me?
Let me hear you.
Tell me your full name.
Henry has
Dementia and he needs
Total assistance with all his
Activities of daily living.
Hi, papa.
Hi, papa.
How you doing?
I'm all right, I'm fine.
Who am I?
Who am I?
I'm your daughter.
Which one?
Wait a minute...
I don't know...
I got so many, I don't know.
God knows.
You've got so many?
Maybe grand-Daughters...
well, that's what I mean...
I don't know.
Okay, it's Cherie.
How long has he been in
The nursing home?
Approximately 10 years.
It affects me greatly, because
He was always, you know,
Fun-Loving, singing, you know?
On every occasion, he would come
Out with a song.
I remember as a child he used to
Walk us down the street,
Me and my brother, and he'd
Stop and do
"Singin' in the rain."
He would have us jumping and
Swinging around poles.
He was good, he was always
Into music, you know?
He always loved singing,
You want your music
Let's try your music, okay?
And then you tell me if it's too
Loud or not, okay?
Music is inseparable
From emotion.
So it's not just
A physiological stimulus.
If it works at all, it
Will call the whole person...
The many different parts of
Their brain, and the memories
And emotions which go with it.
He is my lord
I'm supposed to sing with
You can if you like.
I'm so in love
With you...
When I first met him, he was
Very isolated, and he
Used to always sit on the unit
With his head like this...
he didn't really talk
To much people, and then when
I introduced the music to him,
This is his reaction ever since.
I'm so in love with you
Henry waking up did
Something to all of us...
Everyone in the room felt it.
So in love with my god
so in love with you, god
I'm so in love with you, god
wherever it be
The philosopher Kant once
Called music
"The quickening art,"
And Henry is being quickened,
He is being brought to life.
I'm going to take the music
For one second, okay, just to
Ask you a few
Questions, okay?
How awake was he?
I'm gonna give it
Back to you.
Was he still lost
In his dementia?
Or had the music
In some way changed that?
Do you like the iPod?
Do you like the music you're
Tell me about your music.
I don't... I don't...
I don't have one, I mean.
Do you like music?
Yeah, I'm
Crazy about music.
Used to play beautiful music,
Beautiful sounds.
Did you play music when you
Were... Did you like music
When you were young?
Yes. Yes.
I went to big dances and things.
What was your favorite music
When you were young?
Well, I guess...
well, cab Calloway was
My number one band guy I liked.
What was your favorite song?
I'll be home
For Christmas
you can plan
On me
with plenty of snow
Presents wrapped 'round
The tree
Christmas eve will tell me
Where the love light beams
What was the favorite part of
Your life?
What was your favorite part
Of your life?
My life?
Well, part of my life
Was riding a bicycle,
Grocery boy...
what did you like about
Riding a bicycle?
That's where I made my money.
So, in some sense,
Henry has re-Acquired his
Identity for a while through the
Power of music.
What does music
Do to you?
It gives me the feeling of
Love, romance.
Figure right now, the world
Needs to come into music,
You got beautiful music here,
Beautiful, oh, lovely.
And I feel a band of love,
Of dreams.
The lord came to me, made me
I'm a holy man, so he gave
Me these sounds.
Let's say I meet you...
let me see...
Rosalie, won't you love me
Rosalie wont you be sweet
And kind
What do you
Think happened with Henry?
I mean, what did we just see
Happening with Henry?
We connected with Henry.
We connected with Henry's self.
You know, when you're in
A nursing home or when you
Have Alzheimer's disease, you're
Really struggling with your own
Thoughts and confusion...
Dan was excited.
I was excited.
What if all these people we'd
Seen could be awakened like
All a sudden,
Everything falls into
Place and you're right
There with the music, you
Understand it.
It's pleasurable.
You're not thinking about
Anything else, you're not
Oh, how lovely!
This is no small problem.
There are five million people
In America with dementia.
10 million people spend a large
Part of their life caring for
There are maybe a million
People in nursing homes
Losing their
Connection to life.
Let me give you a kiss.
C'mon, sweetheart!
Hey, Johnny!
How are you?
I mean, isn't this desire...
A desire to awaken another
Person, to what they are,
To what they could be...
A deep part of being human?
How often does anybody have
A chance to affect the lives of
A million or more people?
I'm hoping people are ready to
Come along on this journey...
here you go..
You hold this.
There you go.
We all know music is magic.
I feel like I'm
One with the world.
And for those with dementia,
It can be a back door into
The mind.
The parts of the brain
Which are involved in
Remembering music and
Responding to music are
Not affected too much in
Alzheimer's disease or other
part of the reason why
Musical memories are
So strong has
Something to do with the way
Music enters our brain in the
First place.
Music has more ability to
Activate more parts of
The brain than any
Other stimulus.
Music seems to be a cultural
Invention which makes use of
Parts of the brain developed for
Other purposes.
Not only auditory parts,
But visual parts,
Emotional parts,
And at the lower level,
In the cerebellum... All the
Basic parts for coordination.
When we are young, music
Records itself in our motions
And emotions.
Luckily, these are the last
Parts of the brain
Touched by Alzheimer's.
Great song.
Can we hold hands a little bit?
Ah, that's better.
We're too far from each other.
For the patients with
Alzheimer's, it has to be
Music which has meaning for them
And is correlated
With memory and feeling.
Hold you so much
And by exciting or awakening
Those pathways, we have
A gateway to stimulate and reach
Somebody who otherwise is
Yeah, it's not an
Easy life for you.
I love you.
I love you, too.
I have one resident
That barely opened her eyes, she
Didn't respond.
As much as I tried... I knew
Her for two years...
No matter what I tried, massage
Wouldn't work,
Nothing worked.
But when we got introduced to
The iPods and the family
Told me the things that she
Liked, it was amazing once we
Put the iPod on her.
She started shaking her feet,
She started moving her head.
Her son was just amazed...
okay, can we stop?
'Cause now I'm...
I'm seeing her all over again.
What we're spending on drugs
That mostly don't work dwarfs
What it would take to deliver
Personal music to every
Nursing home resident in
That's to pause it, to
Start it up again,
And hit the button again.
Couldn't be easier.
So why don't these people
Have their music already?
And why does it take
An outsider like Dan to
Get it for them?
In today's really crazy
System, I can sit down
And write out a script
For a $1,000 a month
Antidepressant, no problem,
Nobody asks any questions.
If I want to provide a person
With a $40 personal music
System, that will take a lot of
Because personal music doesn't
Count as a medical intervention.
You see what I'm saying?
It's sort of a side thing over
The real business, trust me,
Is in the pill bottle.
Open for me.
Our healthcare system
Imagines the human being to be
A very complicated machine,
And we've figured out
How to turn the dials.
Blood pressure?
Oh, turn that down, you know?
Blood sugar?
Oh, turn that down.
We have medicines that can
Adjust the dials.
We haven't done anything,
Medically speaking, to touch the
Heart and soul of a patient.
They want you upstairs.
You have to come take your meds.
No, you refused this morning,
So they want you to
Come now and take them.
Listen, you know it's
Important, okay?
Look how you're acting,
Okay, you need your medication.
Well, Gil is a little different.
As you can see, he's a big guy,
He's a strong guy.
When he gets agitated,
We really need things in place
That are going to work and
Work quickly.
My anger manifests itself in
Very many different ways.
The anger is there, but
Sometimes I can't express it.
I like to think of
Distress as communication.
If you give a highly sedating
Medication to that kind of
A person, you're actually
Taking away the one avenue they
Have to tell you they
Have a problem.
And the problem with that is you
Can turn a person who is engaged
Into a person who
Is withdrawn into themselves
And no longer able to connect to
The world around them.
I wish I had my freedom.
That's the most important part.
That is what makes me the most
Pissed off of all.
That I can't go out.
The thing people lose most
Is those intangibles... The idea
Of choice and control.
We're going to do your
Medicine now, all right?
Just every aspect of
"What am I going to do next?"
Is dictated to you in
Most institutional environments.
Drink some of that.
And music creates
Spontaneity that you cannot
Create in an institution.
It takes you to a place where
You can leave the regimen
And go off in a world
That you create and that you
Connect with on your own terms.
Hi, Gil.
I brought you your music
That you requested.
And put it on your
Ears, over your head.
That fit okay?
Okay. And here's your iPod.
All you have to do is click the
Center button, one time.
The magic of your sighs
I think you're all set.
Would you still love...
tonight with words
you said that I'm
The only one
There is no pill that
Does that.
And medicine can dim the
Spark or the light, it never
Brings it out.
What they need is engagement,
They need to succeed in
The world around them.
So, you want an iPod, too?
First, what is an iPod?
I don't know anything about
He has his favorite music,
And it's playing.
That's all it is.
It's like your own jukebox.
Okay, let's start.
She wants to see what it
Looks like, the iPod.
No kidding.
Denise is
A bipolar schizophrenic.
She's been with us for about
Two years.
I like...
Denise doesn't hold back any
Her joy is off the charts.
Unfortunately, so is her
Sorrow and her anger.
So, she's very raw, she's very
Do you know
What I'd like to do?
Denise is probably
An extreme resident that
We have here.
I'm being emphatic,
And I have a very vivid
I'm very resilient but I drop,
And I keep on trying,
And I drop, but I never
Stop, and I drop.
One of these days,
I'm going to drop and
Stay on the floor!
I won't fall!
I've lived here two years
And never fallen!
I couldn't believe the music
Let Denise
Push away her walker.
She'd been using that walker
Every day for two years.
It's Spanish.
You're not Spanish.
No, I'm not Spanish.
I'm following your lead.
I'm having fun.
Good, me, too.
A little music bringing this
Much joy.
It only makes sense when you
Understand their isolation.
What happens when
They come to a nursing home?
What are their losses?
I never thought I would be in
A situation like this.
They lose their
It's sad to say but sometimes
They lose their dignity.
That's it.
Sometimes they are
Dealing with the loss
Of a loved one.
Imagine losing that all in one
I wanna get home.
Yeah, you do?
I've been here for the last
Two or three days.
What do you want to do at home?
Be with my family.
Where we going?
Right down here.
People who have been here for
Years, that have dementia,
They'll still tell you,
"This is not where I live."
Well, I can
Go out this way, too.
Tom has been in this
Nursing home for
Five years now.
So, they're always
Trying to escape.
I have to go that way.
They're looking for the
That's one of the most
Frequently asked questions is,
"How do I get out of here?"
Ah, no.
Can't get out here either,
Because this isn't their
Normal world when they come
Now they're in this world, and
They're like, "this isn't the
World that I know."
It's stuck.
With few choices,
Little hope for the future,
No control over the
Medications flowing through
Them, is it any surprise their
Minds struggle to adapt?
People close their
Eyes and withdraw inward
More and more.
If the outside world is
Horrible, I go to
The inside to restore my
But, after a while, people just
Become living dead people.
They go into vegetation, and
This does not have to be.
I play... I play music.
I know.
You're a trumpet player, right?
Yeah, and I play in a band.
What I've found is
That we all have music in us and
When we go through
What we go through, like trauma,
Caused by disease, caused by
Wars, that gets covered up.
And I've found a way of
Accessing that with some people.
So, it's really to help them
Find that song that they've
Covered up from the pain so they
Can sing again.
Samite is a volunteer who
Understood how music can bring
Back souls that have fled
The body...
souls that have been
I've had a situation where
I was actually overwhelmed.
I was in the Congo.
These people were told that
This guy is
Coming to bring music...
The healing power of music...
Which was a little overwhelming
Because these were about
150 women who had just gone
Through rape...
who had just gone through the
Worst abuses you could
Have imagined.
I think I was inspired actually,
Because I picked up the flute
And I played a really sad
Melody, and the melody came from
The pain that I knew these
Women had been subjected to.
And when I finished the flute
I could see tears running
Down some of the women's faces.
And the next place I knew that
I had to take them was to
Sing a happy song.
So, I kicked into...
And soon they started moving
A little bit,
And soon they were clapping.
And I'm telling you, three hours
Later we're still singing.
And now we're all connected.
We're all just one body.
Everybody just singing.
When I go to nursing homes, they
Remember these amazing stories,
But it's always through music
That they're able
To express themselves,
And that reminds those people,
We will have a chance to be
Happy again.
Music had always been
A big part of my life.
When I was younger, I played the
Trumpet, I played the organ,
I played the piano...
when I went off to college in
The early '70s, I had the
Requisite giant album collection
Which I carried through
To my marriage.
When I ended up here, I lost all
Of my music...
my world became this facility.
This is
Solitary confinement.
And every human being
Needs stimulation from the
Outside, from little
Babies to old people.
That's why music is so
If you find the music that the
People know, there's stimulation
And communication,
And people do not withdraw
Like many people in this
Institution, Steve found
Himself alone.
After eight years of
Being here, I finally had the
Opportunity to get my music.
Okay, how's that? Good?
And all of a sudden...
vistas which I thought were
Closed to me opened up.
Have you ever had music just
Hit you in a place that
Immediately brought you to tears
And you don't
Understand why, you know?
Music has that power.
I can remember being
Five years old,
Hearing this music in the
Distance, crawling to it.
It was "rhapsody on a theme
Of Paganini."
You know, crawling to the music,
Laying on the floor, and crying.
Music touches us all.
How deep does it run
Inside of us?
Ba, Ba...
Ba, Ba...
When does our relationship
With music begin?
At 22 days, a single cell jolts
To life.
This first beat
Awakens nearby cells and,
Incredibly, they all begin to
Beat in perfect unison.
These beating cells divide
And become your heart.
And this desire to beat in
Unison seemingly fuels our
Entire lives.
Ah, Bo, Bo, Ba...
Ba, da, da, da, da...
Amazingly, after six months
Of development, the
Cerebral cortex is
Capable of supporting thought.
Yeah, oh, the ladybugs
Are super-Cute.
Researchers have studied the
Sounds of newborns and
Discovered that in their cries
Are patterns that reflect their
Mothers' speech.
I know, and you want
To bring it.
This means that even before
We're born, we are learning
How to sing
With another human being.
Ba, Ba, Ba...
I wondered how
Everyone knows that.
Regardless of what country I'm
In, it seems like
Everyone knows that.
Now, how is that possible if it
Wasn't already inside you?
Every child will tend
To keep time to music, heard
Or imagined, which you will not
See in a chimpanzee.
That's it!
I got it!
Music seems to be
Almost as quintessentially human
As language.
This response to a beat may be
Hard-Wired and human...
and I think
Almost all human beings
Will bring out their inherent
You have a little bit of room
To grow.
I've got a lot of room to
Grow, considering it will
Hold 2,000 songs.
Do you have "piano man"?
It's thrilling to me
To be able to see a person
Who's been without music for
Years and then watch how
That person comes alive.
I mean, that's...
As a physician, that's a thrill.
But there's something behind
That wonderful moment.
I mean, how did that happen in
The first place?
Why were we able to
Feed and water and medicate this
Person but not respond to
Deeply human
Needs that he might have?
A century ago, they
Were called "nursing homes"
Because you received
Nursing care, and most of the
Time it was
In a home-Like setting.
That was before, I guess, our
Civilization advanced to the
Point where we created
15,000 nursing homes based
On a hospital model.
How did this become the way
Millions of Americans end their
The civilization of the
Past 100 years with its
Startling industrial changes
Has tended more and more to
Make life insecure...
technology has radically
Transformed the
Human environment.
Our safety, no longer tied
To the home, or the village,
Became tied to something else.
We became urban and the
Traditional family structures
Began to feel pressure
And weaken.
As a consequence, by
The late 1800s, elders, in
Alarming numbers,
Were ending their days in the
Poorhouse, alongside the
Insane and the homeless.
This social security measure
Gives at least some protection
To 30 millions of our citizens
Who will reap
Direct benefits through
Old-Age pensions...
There was a real
Awareness that older people
In America were sick and poor,
And a decision was made to
Support them, not through the
Welfare system, but through the
Healthcare system.
And so, what we had was this
Incredible shotgun marriage of
The poorhouse and the hospital
And that's what
Nursing homes became.
A new industry was born.
This business exploded after
The Medicaid act of 1965.
The idea of taking
Care of elders on a mass scale
Was something new
In human history, and it was
Bound to run into problems.
Early on, there were accusations
Of "warehousing" elders,
Overusing physical restraints,
And even when reformers
Challenged that practice and
Reduced it, a new problem came
Up... The overuse of
Anti-Psychotic drugs.
These drugs aren't designed
For use with elders, and yet
They're being massively
Overused in nursing homes.
Give me a kiss right here.
Kiss me.
Thank you.
Nursing homes actually have
Some of the best people in our
Nation, some of the biggest
Hearts, most generous spirit,
The greatest joy and laughter.
I love these people.
However, they go to work
Every day inside an institution
That defines people in terms of
Their diagnoses and
Their disabilities
And thinks of them as patients
First, human beings second.
He doesn't really
Initiate conversation.
He just kind of... exists.
Does he already have music in
His room?
Does he have a radio?
I don't think he has a radio
In his room, no.
He has dementia?
He has dementia.
Johnny, can you tell
Us, who's this guy?
Who's that guy?
Is that you, when you were in
The navy?
Is that me?
Do I look like that?
Yeah, that's you.
That's not too bad!
A couple of years and
A lot of Tommy Dorsey, big band?
All of this stuff, let me sort
It out.
Frank Sinatra...
How about this one?
We tried to learn john's
Who's that guy?
Is that the same guy?
To help us find his deepest
I got more muscles.
But how do you do this for
Someone like john?
All right, what about this?
We were told a few things.
He played baseball.
He'd been drafted and served
At Los Alamos.
It was there that the army
Gave him shots for
Radiation poisoning...
Shots that caused all his hair
To fall out.
Lastly, after the war, he
Performed in Philadelphia under
The stage name Larry Stewart,
But we couldn't learn this from
The sensory record...
The movie that played only in
John's mind, called memory...
Is gone.
His love, his dreams...
Who are we without our memory?
Oh Johnny, oh Johnny
It's "oh Johnny oh."
How perfect!
Oh Johnny, oh Johnny
how you can love
oh Johnny, oh Johnny
heavens above
you make my sad heart jump
With joy
and when you're near I just
Can't sit still a minute
I'm so
oh Johnny, oh Johnny
please tell me, dear
what makes me love you so
you're not handsome,
It's true
but when I look at you,
I just, oh, Johnny
oh Johnny, oh
There was no way we could
Have known there was this much
Life inside of john.
Some enchanted evening,
You may see someone
you may see a stranger
I wish I had a voice like
For Johnny, getting his
Music, and a little focused
you're quite the singer.
Was all it took to awaken
Feelings he hadn't felt in
I love to do it.
When did you first
When you were young, did you
I don't know.
I'm just a small guy.
I'm crying.
Why? Are you sad?
I don't know.
I love everybody around here.
My gang... This is my gang.
This is your gang?
Does it make you happy to sing
For us?
Half the people in
Nursing homes get no visitors,
So it's not like
Family can do it.
The nursing homes don't really
Have a ready budget for this.
The government does not
Reimburse for music, and iPods,
So it really needs to come from
So my ultimate goal is to make
This a standard of care
In all 16,000 nursing homes in
The country.
That's the goal.
It depends on the
Nursing home.
It depends on how proactive the
Volunteer department is.
Is this something you'd
Want to explore for your own
Well, I have
Several concerns.
That you give it to 2 people
And 10 people are going
To want it and I'm not going to
Be able to give it to them.
Frankly, how
It's administered.
This is a very
Big place.
We have 600 residents here.
Cost is also a significant
Factor that we have to consider
In every program.
So tell me, how can
I help you today?
I'm looking for a donation.
Sir, one second here.
The research shows it,
Our experience shows it...
There is no doubt that
Mainstreaming the use of
Personalized music,
Using iPods...
I spoke to the senior vice
President and they... They have
A no corporate philanthropy
There are 16,000 nursing homes
In the united states, and the
Challenge is getting it out
There, and we could really use
Your help.
Sandra day O'Connor
Talked to him about your project?
No, about Alzheimer's,
Support of the Alzheimer's
Support for Alzheimer's.
She talked to
The man himself.
And he said no?
So, what luck am I going
To have?
How's the work going?
It's a struggle.
It's a struggle.
I have to tell you,
I am one of the few people who
Actually knows how
You feel about this.
Because a couple of decades ago,
I got really charged up by this
Idea that we could bring
Plants and animals and children
Into the lives of elders.
I had the same kind of
Experiences that you've
Described, where I could
See people come alive.
We had this dream that we'd
Just go door to door, but we
Couldn't penetrate, sort of, the
Fog of the nursing home.
What you're doing is outside of
Conventional practice and you
Have to... And if you're
Going to be successful going
Forward, you have to understand
How big a barrier that is.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Please find your seats.
We went looking for
It turns out we are not alone.
There are lots of people who
Believe there's something
Fundamentally wrong with the
American nursing home.
I think we are part
Of a movement that is much,
Much, bigger.
I want to work on culture
I want to support culture
Change as a national priority.
Hi, bonnie.
Hi, Dan. What's up?
How are you?
We value independence and
Have the hardest time,
I believe, of any country with
The concept of dependence.
And so, whereas other folks have
Integrated aging, we had
A unique interest in saying,
"Over there... I don't want to
See it, I don't want
To know about it."
Why are we changing
Why are we changing now?
Because it's not working.
Because it's dehumanizing.
And I think, quite frankly,
I think baby boomers are saying,
"This is not acceptable.
This is not how I want to be
Treated when I get older."
This was inspiring,
But are
We really interested in
Changing the way America ages?
Might not realize it
But the united states of America
Has only 6,000 geriatricians in
A nation of 300 million people.
Even worse, that number is not
Going up, it's going down.
This is unfortunate timing,
Because the challenges we're
Going to have to face are
We're facing an epidemic
Of neurologic diseases on
A global scale.
A cheery thought.
On this map, every country
That's colored blue has more
Than 20% of its population
Over the age of 65.
This is the world we live in.
And this is the world your
Children will live in.
For 12,000 years, the
Distribution of ages in the
Human population has
Looked like a pyramid with the
Oldest on top.
It's already flattening out.
By 2050, it's going to
Be a column and will start to
and this is why that's
Not entirely a good
Thing, because over the age of
65, your risk of getting
Alzheimer's or
Parkinson's disease will
Increase exponentially.
There are five million
Alzheimer's patients in
The united states.
In the next 10 years, that
Number will come close
To doubling.
We do not have the facilities,
We do not have the resources,
Financial or otherwise,
To cope with that number
Of people
Suffering from dementia.
We have to find a way to help
Them age in place in a healthy
What do you call that?
It's a... Fork... Sp...
No? Fork?
Or spoon?
She says we just don't
I think that's probably true.
You end up being dependent on
Someone else for everything that
You do.
You can no longer write
Your name, you struggle reading,
You lose small motor control.
You can't even remember how to
Get in and out of your
Apartment, or the elevator.
So, do you remember where is
The elevator, maybe it's here?
It could be, yes.
Let's press.
Do we go down or up?
We have to go down.
Okay, so, do you want to
Press for me?
Oh, yes, here.
This one?
I'm not sure.
That's up.
So that's down?
This is down, yes.
Oh, did I do that badly?
I don't think so.
Do you see the light?
Oh, look, look, look.
Oh, beautiful.
Look at that.
Isn't that lovely?
Oh, gotcha.
I gotcha, I gotcha.
Didn't I, huh?
For Marylou, loving her
Grandson is easy.
This is going to the, what?
Where are you going to go?
It's just everything else
That is hard.
I'm really bad, see.
Let's see.
But surprisingly, even deep
Inside Alzheimer's,
Her capacity for love and
Affection remains strong.
I have lots of people to talk
To me and do all that kind of
Thing, so I...
Are you sad because
Other people don't have that?
Of course, because how could
I do things if I didn't have
People with me?
So, that's...
this is a hard journey for
You, huh?
Well, my husband...
he's wonderful.
Would you like to
Hear some music?
Would you like to listen
To some music.
Sure. Why not?
What do you have, Dan?
Here you go.
I don't know how to do this.
Straight over
Your ears and your head...
See the little
Button in the middle?
Press that?
Yeah, right in the middle.
Click it once.
There you go.
Round round get around
I get around, yeah
get around round round
I get around
I get around get around round
Round I get around
from town to town
get around round round
I get around
I'm a real cool head...
I gotta find a new place
Where the kids are hip
I could go.
Get out there.
Go with me.
I'm sorry.
Does it matter?
No, no.
There's nothing...
out of control.
I get around round
Get around round
Round round
Come on, guys.
Wah wa ooo
wah wa ooo
we always take my car 'cause
It's never been beat
and we've never missed yet
I need more.
Do you want to stop the
Oh, thank you so much.
It was...
I'm so glad to get it.
Thank you.
And I love it, and you were very
Nice to me and...
okay, so they're tears of
Just wanted to make sure.
That's the best thing I've
Ever, ever had.
This thing, this...
I don't know how to say it.
It's just...
it can't get away from me if I'm
In this place.
I thought you were
Going to grow wings.
I was trying.
We wanted to believe that
Music would help Marylou stay
With her family longer.
We didn't know if it
Could do this, until we
Met Norman and Nell.
Nell and I have been
Able to avoid long term care for
A number of years by
Trying to keep her
Constantly stimulated.
Music has
Been an enormous part of it.
Then you'll play the piano for
Yes, but I just want to be
With you lot.
Do you mind?
Absolutely not.
I'd love that.
Norman has cared for Nell at
Home for 10 years
Without drugs.
Without personalized music,
Nell would be in
An institution.
I have spent 38 years now
Working on Alzheimer's disease
And I haven't done anything for
Patients that's as effective
As the music therapy is.
I wish I had, and I'm
Still trying.
But I really haven't seen
Anything as positive as that.
Marylou and Nell have
Imagine having to navigate this
On your own, far from
Your home.
Denise got a message to us that
She wanted us to come back...
That she had something she
Wanted to tell us.
And we came...
Dan, how are you?
Because we know
No one else visits her.
It's a letter from the
Hospital describing her
That means that it has
So, because of that, I think
It's very serious.
It is very serious.
You know, life goes on.
It goes on!
Whether you die or not,
It goes on.
And I can not accept that
I don't leave something in
This world for somebody.
I cannot accept that!
Do you understand what
I am saying?
It's painful to feel that
What you have to give
Is not needed.
That there's no one there to
Receive your gifts...
in our past, in all our
Stories, in other cultures,
Elderhood had something to
Give, and there was
Always someone there who needed
What elders had to give.
Is this true in our new world?
Does elderhood have a place?
We're taught from
A very early age that adulthood
Is the pinnacle of existence.
And that older people are really
Just broken-Down versions of
Their former incredible
we've built a culture that
Prizes individuals who are
Able to emulate
The success of machines,
That can be machine-Like
In how they live.
This is not good news for aging,
I have to say, because aging is
Not a machine-Like endeavor.
And it's the fact that they are
Moving into a different way of
Living that causes America
To put them away,
To hide them away.
What I have
Learned over a career
Of working with older people is
That American culture is wrong.
There is actually life beyond
There is actually the
Opportunity to live and grow,
And become elders.
Every Indian people, all for
One people, very happy.
Very happy.
Ah, yes, you are happy.
We are made to age,
And the aging that we experience
Actually holds in it very
Important learnings and
there is a touch that takes
A lifetime to achieve.
Locking this touch away is like
Stripping from ourselves part
Of being human.
These people that we
See in this nursing home, their
Spirits are dumped on because
We're locking them away.
But when you bring the music,
That spirit is what we see
That comes out.
That spirit is still
Fresh and young.
My pain is very painful.
Oh, sorry.
But you know what?
I can take a lot of pain.
You look like a very strong
I am a very strong person.
Very soothing.
Isn't it?
yeah, yeah
You need to have that person in
Front of you who you're going
To be sharing with.
Keep playing.
It's not something
You can just switch on.
You have to
Completely open yourself up.
You give yourself.
And once you give yourself, then
It opens up dialogue.
Take this off, please.
Now, when you go back to Uganda,
They'll ask you who gave
You that.
What are you going to say?
"The strongest woman I have
Ever met."
I love you.
I love you, too.
Dan was breaking through...
he received a grant to give
Matching funds to
35 nursing homes...
and this time the nursing homes
Were lining up.
Gosh, how many different
States is this going to be?
That's just amazing.
Here we have 50 headphones
And this represents 50 changed
It's great!
Lot of music.
After three years of
Filming, Dan had music
In 56 homes.
We knew this was just a drop in
The bucket.
Just changing
Something in a nursing home
Somewhere doesn't take you
Far enough.
Our real focus of concern needs
To be the 1.6 million people who
Are living in nursing homes and
How to make the lives of
Everyone better.
I thought this was just
Going to be... pshew!
Just like that.
People would just take the idea
And run with it.
They didn't.
I left Dan knowing he would
Never stop.
I hoped maybe he'd reach the
Right person and they would
Help him and this dream of his
Would come true.
We first see Henry
Unresponsive and almost
I've got your music.
Then he is given his
Favorite music.
And immediately
He lights up.
His face assumes expression,
His eyes open wide.
And he's being animated
By the music.
This is his reaction
Ever since.
Do you like music?
Yeah, I'm
Crazy about music.
Used to play beautiful music,
Beautiful sounds.
What does music do to you?
Love, romance.
Figure right now, the world
Needs to come into music...
and I feel a band of love,
Of dreams.
You know that little
Video that I made for Dan,
Um, I think some kid posted it
And it's insane!
And I am getting
I'm behind by 85 emails.
85 people contacted me and
If I had 300 people,
I mean, it's just, you know...
you've just got to scroll down
And just read what these
People are saying.
You've never heard anybody
Write anything like this.
It's crazy.
My grandmother is very much
Like Henry...
we've been trying nearly
Everything to get her more alert
And happy.
My grandfather died
Three days ago.
Music has so much power.
Her eyes lit up instantly and
The smile on her face made
My day.
I haven't cried yet, but this
Has made me start tearing up.
Maybe if this worked for
Henry, it could work for
My grandmother.
When the music ended,
My mother looked up...
she got so emotional...
and she saw me...
and so caught up
In the music...
and I'll hold that memory
The music carried her away.
I have to do this.
I'm going home to see my mother
With Alzheimer's.
She is, at this moment,
Listening to ray Charles
Sing, "come rain or come shine,"
And she has found her place in
The world again.
You got music back in your
Life, mama!
Were you surprised
That that clip went viral?
I mean, millions and millions of
People have seen it.
Completely surprised!
People just... They watched
And they saw a human being come
Alive, and when any of us come
Alive, it touches us deeply.
That's why we want to involve
The community, both in
Getting iPods donated and
Having the students come into
The nursing homes to work
With the residents,
Find their playlist...
We've been afraid to
Enter these places.
Afraid of aging,
Afraid of having nothing to
But music,
Entering one 94-Year-Old man,
Reminded us...
We do have something to give.
Oh, my friends.
All we have to do is ask,
"What's your favorite song?"
Vinny, what's your
Favorite song?
What's your favorite song?
What was your favorite song?
Remember this?
Blackbirds singing...
Yeah, that's a lovely one.
Well, I have to have
That one.
That's myself.
Look how fast her mind is
Responding to her songs.
When the night
Has come...
That's... big!
And the land is dark
In music, Marylou feels
Like she's perfect again...
Like she's flowing through
And so it is for all of us...
music gives us something we
Hunger deeply for,
Something we've pursued for
Thousands of years,
Rewired our very brains for.
We need music...
It awakens in us our most
Profound safety...
the safety of living in concert
With each other, and our
Own selves.
And what happens to you
When you hear it?
I feel good.
It's like I got a girl,
And I want to stay with her.
And that is why, together,
We're going to do this
One small kindness...
We're going to bring life
Into the places where it's been
And together...
We will listen.
I'm a man on fire
Walking through your street
with one guitar
And two dancing feet
only one desire
That's left in me
I want the whole damn world
To come dance with me
come dance with me
I'm a hunter at bay
come and set you free
over heartache and shame
I wanna see our bodies
You have a beautiful voice.
Like old big sun
I wanna know what we've been
Learning and learning from
everybody want safety
safety love
everybody want comfort
comfort love
everybody want certain
certain love
everybody but me
I'm a man on fire
Walking through your street
with one guitar
And two dancing feet
only one desire
That's left in me
I want the whole damn world
To come dance with me
ooh, yeah
come dance with me
over heartache and rage
Come set us free
over panic and strange
I wanna see our bodies burning
Like old big sun
I wanna know what we've been
Learning and learning from
ooh, ooh, ooh
everybody want romance
romance love
everybody want safety
safety love
everybody want comfort
comfort love
everybody but me
I'm a man on fire
Walking down your street
with one guitar
And two dancing feet
only one desire
That's still in me
I want the whole damn world
To come dance with me
yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
oh, darling, no
Henry, thank you very much!
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes,
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.
Oh, thank you!
Thank you.