The Crash Reel


EMMY winner

SXSW Audience Award

Gothams Nominee

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Lucy Walker
Completed 2013 Runtime 109



The Crash Reel tells the story of a sport and the risks that athletes face in reaching the pinnacle of their profession. This is Kevin Pearce’s story, a celebrated snowboarder who sustained a brain injury in a trick gone wrong and who now aims, against all the odds, to get back on the snow.

Long Synopsis

This film tells the extraordinarily dramatic and profoundly inspiring story of 23-year-old snowboarding legend Kevin Pearce who worked tirelessly to get to the top of his sport. Then on December 31st, 2009 he landed on his head and suffered severe traumatic brain injury.

Initially feared dead, he was in a coma for weeks. But thanks to his extraordinary courage, hard work, loving family, and “frends” whose “I Ride 4 Kevin” campaign went viral, his recovery has been miraculous.

Kevin's story is about what it takes for an athlete to reach the top -- which, for him, is the same stuff that brought him back from his life-threatening injury. The drive that brought Kevin athletic success also saved his life, enabled him to make a joyful return home, and ... he hopes ... will help him get back on a snowboard this upcoming season. But if he gets back on the mountain, Kevin risks Second Impact Syndrome, in which even mild concussion would be fatal. As a top snowboarder, he was a professional risk-taker, but as a brain injury survivor, his skills are impaired.

Can he make good decisions for himself when his brain is injured? What will happen if he rides, despite currently suffering from impaired vision, poor balance and memory problems – not to mention out-of-control urges for pesto? For all those pushing the limits of human ability, how much risk is too much? Through the journey of the film audiences will fall in love with Kevin and the whole Pearce family.

What people
have said

Jawdropping and jawbreaking stunts performed by professional snowboarders open Lucy Walker's latest documentary, but it is the aftermath of accidents that form the powerfully disturbing core of the film.

The Times

The Crash Reel is an affecting reminder of how suddenly circumstances can turn on us. But it's also an inspiring look at how we can deal with even the most hobbling bad luck.

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trailer here