Documentary Films

Musical Minds. One-hour NOVA documentary on music therapy, produced by Ryan Murdock. Originally broadcast June, 23 2009 on PBS stations. Based on the 2008 BBC documentary by Alan Yentob and Louise Lockwood. This version has additional footage, including fMRI images of Dr. Sacks’s brain as he listens to music. Available from PBS: shop PBS

Oliver Sacks: Tales of Music and the Brain. One-hour BBC One documentary on music therapy as part of Alan Yentob’s “Imagine” series. Produced by Louise Lockwood and originally broadcast June 3, 2008.

Awakenings A documentary about the post-encephalitic patients described in Oliver Sacks’ book, Awakenings. Produced by Duncan Dallas, Yorkshire Television, and first shown in England in 1974 as the initial segment of the “Discovery” television series. Red ribbon, 1978 American Film Festival; first prize, 1978 International Rehabilitation Film Festival.
See this NY Times article for more info. Info on ordering this film.

The Mind Traveler (US broadcast).   Four-part PBS series by Rosetta Pictures. Christopher Rawlence, producer and director; Emma Crichton-Miller, co-producer. Episodes on “The Ragin’ Cajun” (on a deaf-blind community in Seattle); “Island of the Colorblind” (on color and colorblindness in a small Pacific atoll); “Rage for Order” (on an autistic artist, Jessy Park); and “Don’t be Shy, Mr. Sacks” (on Williams syndrome), September 1998. (These films are not currently available.)

A Glorious Accident. A documentary for VPRO by Wim Kayzer, first aired in the Netherlands in 1993 and on PBS stations in the United States in 1994. Info. More info. (These films are not currently available.)

Featuring Oliver Sacks, Stephen Jay Gould, Freeman Dyson, Rupert Sheldrake, Steven Toulmin and Daniel Dennett. From the New York Times: “Holland has only 15 million people, and one million of them watched some or all of “A Glorious Accident,” a rating usually reserved for sitcoms and dramas. A book based on the series was No. 1 on the Dutch best-seller list for months. For the final episode, 12 percent of the adult population tuned in, and the next day some universities closed to give people time to ponder the experience.”

The Mind Traveler (U.K. Broadcast). Six-part BBC series by Rosetta Pictures. Christopher Rawlence, producer and director; Emma Crichton-Miller, co-producer. September 1996. In addition to the episodes listed above, the U.K. broadcast included “Poison in Paradise” (a mysterious neurological disease on the island of Guam) and “Shane” (an artist withTourette Syndrome).  (These films are not currently available.)

In Search of Lucy Doe. One-hour documentary on languagelessness, produced for Arte TV, France by Rosetta Pictures. Produced and directed by Christopher Rawlence; co-producer by Emma Crichton-Miller. First broadcast by Arte TV, November 1996. (This film is not currently available.)

A Change in Mind. A documentary about a man with Tourette’s Syndrome. Produced by Duncan Dallas, Yorkshire Television, 1978. (This film is not currently available.)

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