The Crash Reel

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“Enthralling, exciting and subtly moving documentary… a fascinating glimpse into the world of competitive snowboarding.” — Mark Adams, Screendaily

Director: Lucy Walker
Year: 2013
Country: USA
Running time: 108 mins
Censor Rating: M - offensive language, content may disturb

Producers: Julian Cautherley, Lucy Walker

Screenplay: Pedro Kos, Lucy Walker

Photography: Nick Higgins

Editor: Pedro Kos

Sound: D. Chris Smith


With: Kevin Pearce, Shaun White, Mason Aguirre, Daniel Amen, Sarah Burke, Rory Bushfield, Danny Davis, Kyla Donnelly, Ellery Hollingsworth, C.R. Johnson, Jack Mitrani, Luke Mitrani, Scotty Lago, David Pearce, Simon Pearce

Festivals: Sundance 2013

The meteoric rise, calamitous crash and remarkable endurance of US champion snowboarder Kevin Pearce are related with nerve-wracking immediacy in Lucy Walker’s (Waste Land) documentary. Like any extreme sports addict – and Pearce hails from a family of them – he brings a load of spectacular footage to his cine-biographer, hours of videos shot on course and off since he was a kid. Walker uses the material expertly to show us how Pearce found his element on the slopes. We also see how a turbo-charged sports industry goads its adrenalin junkies constantly, to go harder, to take ever greater risks. Little encouragement may be required: the action footage conveys the exhilaration of danger the way Trainspotting once showed the thrill of Class A drugs. The cold turkey here is a whole lot tougher, and The Crash Reel provides an intensely moving portrait of Pearce’s family pulling him through a recuperation he’s not always convinced will pay off.

Pearce will be our guest at the screenings to discuss his current thinking on the subject.