The documentary For Once in My Life features Florida’s Spirit of Goodwill Band and its musicians and singers, all of whom have disabilities, including autism and Down syndrome.
If you didn’t get to see this documentary about the remarkable power of music in the band members’ lives at a film festival or community screening, you’re in luck. PBS will show For Once in My Life on Feb. 1. Check the PBS For Once in My Life web page for local listings.
The movie also has an awesome soundtrack, available on the For Once in My Life website.
Do you have the post-holiday season doldrums? For an uplifting experience, attend the Community Cinema Tuesday evening and view, “For Once in My Life.” This is a film about 29 unlikely people who form a band. Why “unlikely?” Because they all have disabilities ranging from autism, Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy blindness, to behavioral disorders.
If you think of Goodwill as just a place to donate and purchase used clothing and goods, this movie will have you think again. Goodwill Industries includes a manufacturing plant where people of all backgrounds and experience are given a chance to become independent and gain self-respect. Whether sewing American flags or pockets for military garments, the handicapped work hard. Watching a woman deftly stitching a pocket using her only hand is impressive. She looks up, smiles and says, “I have magic fingers.”
The Spirit of Goodwill Band was formed at Goodwill Industries of South Florida in 1981 to encourage social and recreational skills with people who are handicapped. Some of the 29 people had never played an instrument before, never stood up in front of an audience. But, the band was open to everyone. All had one thing in common: A shared love of music and a dream to share their music with the world and prove a disability would not prevent them from performing.