The Berkshire International Film Festival is hosting its eighth annual slate of inspiring films this weekend, May 30 – June 2.
Berkshire Hills, a string of low-lying mountains in western Massachusetts, is the perfect backdrop for this showcase that will feature 75 flicks at theaters in nearby Pittsfield and Great Barrington, MA.
Within this line-up of highly-acclaimed movies, The Crash Reel is guaranteed to astonish all. This visually arresting film has been featured at numerous events, ever since its debut at the Sundance Film Festival in January.
This evocative documentary focuses on the rise, fall, and then rise of Kevin Pearce, an Olympics snowboarding hopeful whose career tragically ended in the superpipe on December 31, 2009.
The film opens with Pearce’s ascent into the upper, elite ranks of superpipers – snowboarders who stomp the mammoth 22’ high halfpipe. The 22-year-old, in contention for making Team USA at the upcoming Vancouver 2010 Olympics, is seen throwing down harrowing, gyroscopic stunts.
With Olympic podium dreams firmly planted, he slays the pipe on New Years Eve at a Park City, UT venue – seeking to hone his tricks one final time before raging into a prosperous 2010.
Swooping into the pipe, he unleashes a “double cork” – a formidable, whirling trick that few have mastered. Spinning out of this stunt, he strikes his head against the pipe – a jarring accident captured by this gripping drama.
Scenes of mayhem splash across the screen, as medics and fellow boarders race to rescue him from the grips of death. As a chopper shuttles him to a nearby emergency room, the film chronicles the next stage of his life, as he escapes from a coma and recovers from a devastating brain trauma injury.
The intriguing footage is casted on Pearce climbing out of these dark depths, as shored up by doctors, fellow athletes, and his endearing clan. Poignant scenes of his family members, who encourage his progress, while cautioning him against his hopes of returning to the pipe, are captured in numerous stirring vignettes.
Casting aside his daring abandon, Pearce returns to the slopes – realizing his Olympic dreams can never be rekindled. Looking ahead, he is resolved to living out a new era, far removed from his danger-chasing past.
Award winning filmmaker Lucy Walker nestles Pearce’s travails amidst a greater portrait of raging athletes who push the limits, challenge death each step of the way, and pursue financial glory.
Catch this film at the Triplex Cinema in Great Barrington at 6:30 pm on Friday, May 31.
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