Film Reviews

Most of the resources listed here may be borrowed from NLES with identification and a deposit, please contact us for more information.

Resource Title: “every 21 seconds…8 stories of brain injury in 7 parts”, written and directed by Laura Napier. Running time 60 minutes (dvd). Review: This documentary was narrated by Woody Harrelson and funded by the New Mexico Brain Injury Advisory Council so we were kind of excited to see it. It was disappointing. Maggie commented that it was “too drawn out” and not meant for actual survivors of brain injury. DJ thought it was too long. They made some good points in the film but we found it too long and too dark overall.  (Reviewed July 2013)

Resource Title: “Head Games”, directed by Steve James. Running time 96 minutes (dvd). Review: This documentary is based on a book by former WWE wrestler and Harvard football player Chris Nowinski. Rachel and Zel heard Chris Nowinski speak at the 2013 Virginia Brain Injury Report Out Day and bought the dvd. Review: This is a very eye-opening documentary that looks at head injuries in sports. Zel and Rachel got our copy signed! Zel gave this film a thumbs up. Diane found it very informative, and Maggie commented that it gave us a better understanding. Even though it was longer than last month’s dvd we enjoyed it a lot more.It might just change the way you look at repetitive head trauma, particularly in our young people.  (Reviewed August 2013)

Resource Title: “Elvin The Elephant Who Forgets“, written by Heather Snyder, Ph.D., illustrated by Susan Beebe. Running time approximately 20 minutes (dvd, storybook). This dvd is not animated, it is a film of the Elvin storybook being read. It is a story about a young elephant with a brain injury and it is designed to help pediatric survivors of brain injury understand the changes they experience. We liked this movie and think it would be very good for children with brain injury. Brandon noticed that Elvin was counting the same kind of figs in the story that we grow in our back yard (green ones!). Maggie commented that it would be very good if we could take it to a place where there are children with brain injuries.  (Reviewed September 2013)

Elvin The Elephant Who Forgets
Elvin The Elephant Who Forgets

Resource Title: “TBI: One Woman’s Journey”, produced and directed by Tonia Wittkower. Running time 20 minutes (dvd). Review: This documentary tells the story of a young woman who sustains a brain injury in a car accident. It follows her recovery. Calvin liked it, and Matt thought the message was inspiring. He said, “Just like I said, never give up!”. The group had some discussion about what her mother meant when she said that if she had “kept her here, she’d still be here”. Suzie thought it was great that her family pushed her to recover, and Maggie agreed, stating, “You can’t hover too much, you’ve got to let them try, and then if they don’t progress you draw them back in.” Overall the group seemed to like this title.  (Reviewed October 2013)

TBI: One Woman's Journey
TBI: One Woman’s Journey

Resource Title: “Life Goes On (Inside the lives of families of youth with brain injuries)”, produced by Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children – 2004. Running time 29 minutes (dvd). Review: This documentary tells the stories of youths (a teenager and a child) who survive brain injuries, and the impact on their families. Diane thought it was interesting. It led to a discussion of how everybody has different strengths and limitations and shouldn’t all be judged by the same standard. Matt and Zel thought the film was alright. It reminded Zel of how important it is for kids to wear helmets. We all liked this film, it was pretty good.  (Reviewed November 2013)

Life Goes On (Inside the lives of families of youth with brain injuries)
Life Goes On (Inside the lives of families of youth with brain injuries)

Resource Title: “What Happened, Dad?  The Story of a Preventable Family Tragedy” directed by Ralph Conradt; running time 44 minutes (DVD).  Review:  This documentary is a true story about a high school football player named Max Conradt who suffered from a head injury during a game.  Max continued to play football, although he showed signs of head trauma (i.e. long-lasting headaches following the game), which lead to a second concussion and then a coma.  The story sheds light on the fact that many young athletes may be using faulty equipment during school sports that may potentially lead to serious injury.  We at No Limits believe that more safety regulations should be in place regarding the testing of sports equipment for ALL athletes, especially helmets!!  Brandon says “it’s a shame that Max was injured and he’s a very tough guy!”  We would like to remind everyone that head injuries can be very serious, no matter how minor they may seem at the time, and resting after an injury is the key to minimize the possibility of re-injury!  Overall we liked this film and found it educational.  (Reviewed February 2014)

What Happened, Dad?  The Story of a Preventable Family Tragedy

Resource Title: “Brain Injury A Look Inside”, written by Richard C. Senelick, M.D.  Running time 85 minutes (DVD). Review:  This instructive DVD focused on educational facts regarding those living with brain injury.  It explained the differences between various types of injuries to the brain and how they may affect the body.  This DVD also gave us some valuable information about the three most common symptoms after an injury to the brain, which included: cognitive, physical, and behavioral symptoms.  There was also a section on the DVD discussing “neural plasticity” which explained that improvement from a brain injury requires functional tasks and may take place for years after the brain is injured!  We thought that that was a very important fact to remember!  David says this video hit very close to home for him as he has experienced some of the symptoms that were discussed.  We think that this video was a great educational tool although it was a bit long.  (Reviewed March 2014)

Brain Injury A Look Inside
Brain Injury A Look Inside

Resource Title: “disAbility Awareness”, written by Learning Seed©;  Running time 19 minutes (DVD).  Review:  This film would be a very useful tool for someone who might feel uncomfortable or nervous about communicating with individuals with disabilities for the very first time.  We think it would be especially helpful for school aged children or teenagers as the film includes many examples of interacting with individuals with disabilities in a classroom setting.  The lessons taught in this film focus a lot on the importance of inclusion of individuals with disabilities in everyday society and how beneficial that may be to that individual.  We agree with this point 100%.   For example, social skills are best taught when you are actually in a social situation and not just hearing about the situation.  This film also mentions that inclusion promotes acceptance of individuals with disabilities and we think that is a very good point.  As a group, we already felt very confident in approaching and communicating with individuals with disabilities, but we enjoyed the film.  We think it would be a good tool for someone who has not been around individuals with disabilities or children.  (Reviewed 2017)

disAbility Awareness

Resource Title: “Getting it Right”, produced by: DBTAC: Rocky Mountain ADA Center operated by Meeting the Challenge Inc; ©Meeting the Challenge Inc, 2008;  Running time 32 minutes 30 seconds (DVD).  Review: This is a film that covers proper etiquette of communicating with individuals with disabilities.  The etiquette tips are broken down into 6 categories and each category discusses a different disability.  The categories are: mobility, deafness, blindness, psychiatric, speech, and prosthetics.  This is important because we have found that when videos are broken down in this way that it makes it very easy to review each topic for better understanding.  Although this film includes several good etiquette tips we found the acting to be very cheesy and sometimes hard to follow.  We also noted that several of the actors in this film were portraying individuals with disabilities rather than being actors who have disabilities.  We thought this was a bit unrealistic and think the film would have made a better point if actors with disabilities were chosen to play the characters.  Overall, we liked this etiquette video less than others we have reviewed, but still believe it included good tips.  (Reviewed 2017)


Resource Title: “The 10 Commandments of Communicating with People with Disabilities”, produced by: Irene M. Ward & Associates;  Running time 26 minutes (DVD).  Review:  This was a very funny and straight forward film that illustrates that proper way to communicate with an individual who has a disability.  We especially like that commandments are segmented giving each “rule” its own chapter.  We believe this makes the video much easier to follow, and it makes it easier to repeat a lesson if needed for understanding.  Each commandment also includes an example scene in which the rule or commandment is acted out and we believe this is also helpful for understanding.  This video also includes funny jokes and acting scenes, including bloopers!  The host, Tim Harrington, is especially funny!   We really liked this film and think it is a great tool in teaching the best etiquette for communicating with individuals with disabilities.  The video includes two options for viewing “Open Captioned with Audio Descriptor” and “Closed Captioning”.  After viewing both versions, we determined as a group that the “Open Captioned with Audio Descriptor” may actually be quite confusing to individuals who do NOT have visual deficits.  We recommend watching the “close captioning” version if you do not have any visual deficits.  (Reviewed 2017)


Resource Title: “How to Help Someone Who Uses a Wheelchair”, produced by: Medifecta Healthcare Training©;  Running time 32 minutes (DVD).  Review: This was an informative film but we believe it was made more for caregivers of those with disabilities rather than for individuals with disabilities.  There were etiquette tips included in this film regarding how to best communicate with someone in a wheelchair and we believe that this factor is just as important as learning to properly use a wheelchair.  We also found it interesting to learn more about specific safety features of wheelchairs, such as “tip bars” for use while going over a bump or curb.  Overall this is a good and educational film, but would be better for use of caregivers. (Reviewed 2017)