On December 31, 2009, in Park City Utah, snowboarder and Olympic hopeful Kevin Pearce suffered a horrific accident during a half-pipe training run. While attempting a Cab Double Cork, a trick he had been working on for months, Kevin fell, hitting his head directly on the snow with no time to put his hands out. The traumatic brain injury left Kevin in critical care for almost a month, and in rehabilitation for nearly five months in Colorado. Finally in June Kevin was back at his home in Vermont with his family, however the injury left him with long term damage and serious consequences. The Crash Reel is Kevin’s story, from his humble snowboarding beginnings, to his rivalry with Shaun White, to his injury and ongoing recovery.
This eye-popping film seamlessly combines twenty years of stunning action footage with new specially-shot verité footage and interviews as it follows U.S. champion snowboarder Kevin Pearce and exposes the irresistible but potentially fatal appeal of extreme sports.
I recently watched the film on HBOGo, and I must say I was quite impressed. Lucy Walker did an amazing job directing this film, and tells Kevin’s story extremely well. It’s a very touching story, to see Kevin’s struggle and the unforgiving support his family gives him is amazing. The injury Kevin suffered was extremely traumatic, if he fell again and hit his head, he could possibly die. Yet he argued with doctors and his family who urged him to quit snowboarding, because for him it is his passion, his way of life. The sports we participate in come with inherent risks, death is always lingering the more you progress and push your limits, and unfortunately has claimed to many of our fellow skiers, bikers, surfers, and so on. Kevin almost died doing what he loved, and as soon as he was able to walk and function somewhat normally again, all he wanted to do was snowboard. The Crash Reel tells no only the amazing story of Kevin Pearce, but also delves into the issue of tramatic brain injuries, and the risks that action sports athletes take everyday. I highly recommend watching this film, it is very inspirational and touching, and looks into a side of the sport we rarely see.
The film premiered in January 2013 at the Sundance Film Festival, and has since been making its rounds at film festivals all over the world. The film was released by HBO Documentaries, and is currently available for streaming on HBOGo. Starting in December it will be in theaters in the U.S. and Canada, and in early 2014 it will be available on DVD. The film doesn’t come out for another couple of months, but we all know a guy who knows a guy who has and HBOGo password, so hit em up and watch this amazing documentary, you’ll be glad you did.