Archives / 2013 Sundance Film Festival

The Crash Reel

Film Still

Director: Lucy Walker

Screenwriters: Pedro Kos, Lucy Walker

Institute History

Description

This eye-popping, yet intimate, story of U.S. champion snowboarder Kevin Pearce uses years of vérité footage to expose the excitement and appeal, as well as the high stakes, of participating in extreme-action sports. Training to compete against longtime rival Shaun White at the 2010 Winter Olympics, Kevin suffered severe traumatic brain injury from a 2009 accident in Park City, Utah. His tight-knit Vermont family flew to his side, and together they began an intensive process of trying to rehabilitate him and help him rebuild his permanently damaged life. Kevin’s determination and the tireless support of family and friends kept him focused on recovery. But when he insisted he wanted to return to the sport he loved, his family objected. As an elite athlete, Kevin was a professional risk taker, but as a brain-injury survivor, his skills were now impaired, and even a small blow to the head could kill him.

Academy Award–nominated director Lucy Walker’s latest film (Waste Land won the World Cinema Documentary Audience Award at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival) sheds light on the alarming trend of athletes pushing the boundaries of their sports past the limit. How much risk is too much? Her thoughtful and probing treatment of her subject enables us to share one family’s remarkable journey.

— L. V.

Screening Details

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