Movie "Alive Inside" Shows Connection Between Music, Memory

Last July, filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett released a life-changing movie that shows the powerful connection between music and memory.

Now, the movie that won the "Audience Award" at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival is coming to Winnemucca for three showings:

Rossato-Bennett's theory was that songs embedded deep in memory can ease pain and awaken the fading minds of those stricken with dementia.

"Alive Inside!" joyously and triumphantly proves that theory correct: there is a special connection between music and the seemingly silent brains of dementia sufferers.

Gini Cunningham, a local Alzheimer's advocate and the facilitator of the Alzheimer's Support Group, said the movie will leave participants awe-struck at how music can reawaken our souls and uncover the deepest parts of our humanity.

"I knew we had to bring this movie to Winnemucca," said Cunningham. "It is such a powerful reminder that people with Alzheimer's and other dementias are truly still 'alive inside.' This movie will demonstrate that in a powerful and unforgettable way."

Cunningham said more than five million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's disease and dementia; her own mother passed away with the disease.

"We need to understand more about this disease, to advocate for those who are suffering in silence," she said. "This movie really helps us confront our cultural fears about aging and see these dementia sufferers in a new light."

While there is no formal charge for the movie, Cunningham said a $5 donation is appreciated. The movie is 74 minutes long, and all ages are welcome.

The movie will officially kick off November as National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month. Later in the month on Thanksgiving morning, November 27, local residents are also invited to participate in the "Up & AATT 'Em" Alzheimer's Awareness Turkey Trot.

The 3K/5K/8K race will begin and end at Lowry High School. Start time is 8 a.m. Registration is $25 and includes a long-sleeve Trotter t-shirt. All proceeds will stay locally to benefit Alzheimer's education and family respite care.

For more information or to pre-register for the race, please contact Gini Cunningham via email at or call (775) 304-2899. Information is also available by visiting

Pre-registration is not necessary for the "Alive Inside" presentations.

"Alive Inside" and the "Up & AATT 'Em" Alzheimer's Awareness Turkey Trot are sponsored in part by Humboldt General Hospital.