Ain't in It for My Health: A Film about Levon Helm

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“If he were just a bartender inArkansas, somebody should still make a documentary about him.” — Jacob Hatley

Director: Jacob Hatley
Year: 2010
Country: USA
Running time: 84 mins
Genres: Music

Producers: Mary Posatko, Ken Segna
Photography: Emily Topper
Editor: Thomas Vickers
Music: Larry Campbell

With: Levon Helm, Amy Helm, Larry Campbell, Billy Bob Thornton, Teresa Williams, Barbara O’Brien

Festivals: SXSW, Amsterdam Documentary 2010

Thirty years on from The Band’s farewell concert captured in The Last Waltz, drummer and singer Levon Helm continues to make music from his home in Woodstock. This moving, intimate portrait, shot over a three-year period, observes him there, telling stories among family, musician colleagues and friends, or out in the fields with neighbouring farmers. There’s little need for expert soundbite testimony: Helm is proof enough of what he is, and makes no bones about where he’s been and what he’s seen. Gaunt and thin-framed, Helm is nevertheless undiminished, anchored to and shaped by his country roots, still performing Midnight Rambler Sessions with his band, which includes daughter/singer Amy. This is one rock legend who won’t fade away. — SR

“A captivating look at a musician hanging onto his art for dear life… The performances included are wonderful and organic, and the tunes – including Dylan’s ‘When I Paint My Masterpiece’, and a fantastic rendition of Springsteen’s ‘Atlantic City’ – have that timeless Americana feel.” — Daniel Carlson, Hollywood Reporter