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SXSW Film

Ain't In It for My Health: A Film About Levon Helm

Documentary Feature, Spotlight Premieres
D: Jacob Hatley

One suspects that even if he knew nothing about Levon Helm's musical status as one of the members of the legendary Sixties group the Band, director Hatley still would have been inclined to shoot this documentary – and moreover, there is very little he would have done differently had he been unaware of Helm's background. The focus of this film is on a wise, witty, down-home raconteur from Woodstock, N.Y., a musician by trade, a pot-smoker by avocation, a storyteller by definition. We see painful snippets of the medical visits that have become more or less routine since Helm was treated for throat cancer, the Midnight Ramble musical concerts that take place in his barn and began as a way to counteract looming bankruptcy, Helm playing and singing for a newborn grandchild, and much more. Though Helm never directly addresses the issues that broke up the Band, the bulk of this documentary consists of him delightfully gabbing away on every other subject under the sun.


Saturday, March 20, 2:30pm, G-Tech

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