Jul 15, 2013, 1:00 PM EST
The HBO debut of “The Crash Reel,” a documentary on snowboarding and the sport’s growing risks, shouldn’t be anything new for Kevin Pearce.
He’s seen the film, he’s lived the film and he’s been asked (and asked and asked) about the film. The opportunity to watch it on TV at his parents’ home in “the middle of nowhere” in Vermont on Monday night (9 ET) is still exciting.
“Pretty badass,” as Pearce put it.
Pearce is the focus of the 1-hour, 49-minute chronological compilation of home movies, interviews and snowboard footage directed by the Oscar-nominated Lucy Walker.
While Pearce never reached the Olympics, the film is very much about the Games from the opening scene. Key dates are identified as “XXX days before the Vancouver Olympics,” such as Dec. 31, 2009, 49 days before the Games.
A six-second clip from that New Year’s Eve morning is played three times throughout the film. Pearce is shown on a halfpipe run in a red jacket and dark pants with people on a ski lift in the background. He attempts the sport’s new, bar-raising trick, the cab double cork (a twisting double back flip). He misses. His head hits the snow, face first, with a sickening thud.
The rest of the film dives into Pearce’s rivalry with Shaun White and emotionally steps through his rehab from a traumatic brain injury. Freeskier Sarah Burke, who died on the same halfpipe in a training accident in 2012, makes a few short but powerful appearances in the film.
We’ll hold off on further details to let viewers learn on their own, but it sufficiently earned its place at the Sundance Film Festival and SXSW.
Pearce took time to answer questions about the film and his future in a telephone interview.
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