Starting with the image of a tour bus warming its engine in the stillness of an empty lot, this haunting, personal portrait of music legend Levon Helm evokes the mood of a lifetime spent on the road.
Jacob Hatley’s extraordinarily intimate documentary finds Helm, a founding member of the pioneering rock group The Band, at home in Woodstock in the midst of creating his first studio album in 25 years. As Helm and his collaborators engage in the mysterious and alchemical act of writing new songs, business demands, chronic health problems, and lifetime achievement awards from the Grammys constantly interrupt their creative process. Throughout it all, Helm talks with humor and unassuming candor about his personal setbacks and past regrets, while revealing the understated passion and dogged commitment that drives him and his music. The ultimate survivor, he’s overcome drugs, bankruptcy, the bitter breakup of The Band, and a bout of throat cancer—but then, as the rueful title indicates, he wasn’t in it for his health