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.
About the Director
The Crash Reel is director/producer Lucy Walker’s fifth film at the Sundance Film Festival. Devil’s Playground screened in 2002, Waste Land won the World Cinema Documentary Audience Award in 2010 and was nominated for an Academy Award, Countdown to Zero also screened in 2010, and her short The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom earned a Jury Prize last year and was nominated for an Academy Award. Blindsight (2006) premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Walker grew up in London, England, and graduated from Oxford before winning a Fulbright to attend NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Cast and Credits
Director: Lucy Walker
Screenwriters: Pedro Kos, Lucy Walker
Executive Producers: Dan Cogan, Geralyn Dreyfous, Sheila Nevins
Producers: Julian Cautherly, Lucy Walker
Cinematographer: Nick Higgins
Editor: Pedro Kos
Music: Chemical Brothers, Underworld, M83, Jose Gonzalez, Moby, Sigur Ros, Lykke Li