Fans of iconic Canadian band Spirit of the West were shaken when it was announced that lead singer John Mann had been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 51. As the band looked towards what would be their final shows, filmmaker and director Pete McCormack (Facing Ali, VIFF ’09) began documenting performances and interviews culminating to what would be a striking, emotional and inspiring film titled, Spirit Unforgettable.
Both blissful and bittersweet, the film documents the band’s preparations for (what could be) their final performance at Toronto’s Massey Hall in 2015. Utilizing archival clips and intimate interviews; McCormack constructed an artful narrative that showcases Mann, his family and his bandmates as incredibly honest and engaging. The film crescendos as the band takes the stage for one of their final performances, once again reminding us all why Mann and Spirit of the West are absolute Canadian legends.
“It’s hard to imagine a film about someone facing early onset Alzheimer’s ending on a high, but when the subject is John Mann, lead singer of Spirit of the West, the joy just flows.”—NOW Toronto
Spirit Unforgettable will screen at VIFF on Friday October 7th and Wednesday October 14th. Visit the VIFF website for more details.