All the Rage (Saved by Sarno)

Studio: Rumur
Michael Galinsky and Suki Hawley

Jun 24, 2017 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Michael Galinsky and his wife Suki Hawley have made some tremendous films, including the epochal indie rock "on the road" epic Half-Cocked, and the eerie Horns and Halos, which chronicled the efforts of Soft Skull Press to bring James Hatfield's George W. Bush bio to the public's consciousness in 2000, yet ended tragically with Hatfield's suicide. But Galinsky and Hawley have made their masterpiece in All the Rage, a documentary featuring Larry David, Howard Stern, and John Stossel, giving testimonials as to how Dr. John Sarno cured their back problems through a mind-body connection, controversial in the medical community. But the documentary gets intensely personal, when Galinsky suffers back problems, and retreats into Sarno's techniques, facing his well of repressed anger and emotional pain to heal himself. 

Galinsky adroitly weaves the aforementioned celebrity testimonials with his own struggles, and Sarno's as well. Sarno is often dismissed by the medical community, but he impact on it is undeniable. There is often an inextricable connection between the body and pain, and Sarno understands it perhaps better than any doctor in the country. It's inspiring to see those who have been healed by his controversial techniques, and downright sad to see him retiring as a doctor, obviously mentally and physically drained from years of defending his technique.

Yet it's Galinsky who makes the film a masterpiece with the vulnerable footage of him prostrate and in agonizing back pain after his move from NYC to his childhood home in North Carolina with his family. He seeks out Dr. Sarno, brings some long buried memories to the fore, and eventually heals. The manner in which he weaves his own personal footage with that of Sarno with patients, detractors dismissing him, and intimate discussions between himself and Sarno is sublime.

This isn't a conventional documentary, but it's a damn adventurous film. Galinsky and his family are affected deeply by Sarno, and that's documented with candidly personal footage spanning years. But ultimately, it's a film that's meant to galvanize and explore the mind-body connection to pain. It's a bitter pill to swallow for many, but likely a necessary one if they want to get to the source of what's causing them to go to countless chiropractors. Sarno and Galinsky make a strong case for using the mind and the resolving of repressed memories. It isn't comfortable, but it's worked for countless Sarno patients, and is a fascinating portrait of Galinsky's personal life. It's sweet, sad, and true, and a brilliant film. And sadly, Dr. Sarno passed away recently at the age of 93. Thankfully, he was able to view this film, which will stand as a eulogy for a brilliant man who had a profound impact on countless patients, friends, and family. (alltheragedoc.com)

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