The Crash Reel

Director: Lucy Walker
USA | 2013 | Documentary
Run Time: 108 minutes
Film source: Phase4Films
Sponsor: Anonymous donor
Special Event: Opening Night Film. Special ticket prices for this film – 6-pack and 10-pack discounts don’t apply. All proceeds go to Special Olympics Vermont. Kevin & David Pearce in attendance. Preceded by opening night reception at 5pm in the Lakeside Lobby outside The Film House, Food provided courtesy of Sugarsnap, cash bar. Screening followed by Opening Night party at 8:30 pm, at Signal Kitchen. Announcement and presentation of Vermont Filmmakers’ Showcase Awards. Party sponsored by Signal Kitchen.

Crash Reel

It’s the training season for the 2010 winter Olympics. World-class snowboarder Kevin Pearce swings up the half pipe and launches into the air. He spins into a double cork 1080. It’s one of the toughest moves in his – or any – repertoire, and he comes back down, hard and fast, towards the ramp. The tail end of his board catches the ice. He falls forward with no time to put out his arms. His full weight lands on his head and neck. Academy Award-winning documentarian Lucy Walker’s film seamlessly combines twenty years of stunning action footage with vérité footage and interviews as it follows Kevin and exposes the irresistible but potentially fatal appeal of extreme sports. An escalating rivalry between Kevin and his nemesis Shaun White in the run-up to the 2010 Olympics leaves Shaun on top of the Olympic podium and Kevin in a coma following his accident. Kevin’s tight-knit Vermont family flies to his side and helps him rebuild his life as a brain injury survivor. But when he insists he wants to return to the sport he still loves, his family intervenes with his eloquent brother David speaking for all of them when he says, “I just don’t want you to die.” Kevin’s doctors caution him that even a small blow to the head could be enough to kill him. Will Kevin defy them and insist on pursuing his passion? With his now impaired skills, what other options does he have? How much risk is too much?


Audience Awards: SXSW, HotDocs