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DIRECTOR Lucy Walker

In 2009 US champion snowboarder Kevin Pearce fell horrifically and was left in a coma.  This superb documentary mixes eye-popping footage of Pearce practising his incredible stunts with an intimate tale as he and his family come to terms with his injury.  He is determined to return to the sport he loves but they want to stop him.  A fabulous blend of extreme sports and an affecting journey of emotional discovery.  (2013 USA 108 minutes)

BBFC advice: Contains strong language, moderate injury detail and sporting accidents
Detailed advice from the BBFC (click on BBFC insight)

Synopsis
This eye-popping film seamlessly combines twenty years of stunning action footage with new specially-shot verité footage and interviews as it follows US champion snowboarder Kevin Pearce 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 a training accident in Park City, Utah. 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?

Director Lucy Walker has assembled one of the great sporting docs – partly because its scope extends beyond the wintry slopes. On the one hand, it shows how risk-taking athletes are their own worst enemies in sports driven by audiences and sponsors towards ever more dangerous spectacle. Yet its unfolding story also takes unexpected pathways, exploring family bonds versus individual responsibility, and the challenge of acceptance in the face of unkind fate. Don’t be put off by the jock-ish ‘extreme sports’ subject matter, this is an insightful, deeply affecting journey of emotional discovery beyond the thrill of speed and the roar of the crowd.  Trevor Johnston, Time Out

UK RELEASE 4 October 2013
RUNNING TIME 108 minutes
COUNTRY USA

Official film website and trailer 
IMDB film information