Anyone who has seen a Warren Miller ski film knows how epic the experience of skiing down a mountain can be. Miller’s son, Kurt, decided to make a film about the challenges faced by disabled skiers, and chose Universal Pictures executive Rick Finkelstein as his main subject.
December 2004 found Finkelstein skiing on Aspen Mountain after surviving a cancer scare. The veteran, black diamond skier, made the mistake of looking over his shoulder for a friend while traveling down the slope. He flew off a precipice and crashed into the trees below. The accident left him with two collapsed lungs, internal injuries and a severed spine.
After a month in Grand Junction Hospital’s intensive care ward, three months at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and nine back surgeries, Finkelstein returned to work at Universal. He was paralyzed from the waist down.
Miller heard about Finkelstein’s story, and wanted to have him in his movie. In what was a surprise even to Finkelstein, he found himself agreeing to the role.
Miller’s film, “The Movement”, chronicles Finkelstein’s return to the slopes, with all the fear and frustration along the way. He is one among several skiers in the film, all suffering from some sort of disability.
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