The simple power of abiding love, Slamdance 2015 feature film Reveiw: “THE RESURRECTION OF JAKE THE SNAKE ROBERTS”

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By: Vernon Nickerson

It took a village to raise former professional wrestling star Jake “The Snake” Roberts  from the depths of alcohol and substance abuse that almost ate him alive in Writer-Director Steve Yu’s documentary feature film, THE “RESURRECTION OF JAKE THE SNAKE ROBERTS”. Watching how a team of helping professionals and other wrestlers in recovery from their addictions came alongside their friend and mentor made the 93 minutes a inspirational and compelling film.
Growing up in the eighties and nineties watching the calculated and choreographed chaos that is professional wrestling, I often wondered if the wild-eyed and angry trash talk of the wrestler’s was fueled by drugs and/or alcohol.  Well, as it happens, most of it was. Unfortunately, this led to many dramatic flame-outs of professional wrestling’s elite who self-medicated to maintain their money-and-fame generating personas.  Add a profession where getting physically injured is a daily reality and a childhood with a mostly uncommunicative father who never acknowledged Jake’s talent, skills and intelligence to Jake and any beginning therapist might have predicted Jake’s predisposition to use intoxication as a means of coping with psychic and physical pain.
“THE RESURRECTION OF JAKE THE SNAKE ROBERTS” is a powerful testimony to the power of the a loving and committed community dedicated to helping its members maintain their sobriety.  Fellow recovering addict and wrestling superstar Diamond Dallas Page and his crew of helping professionals and recovering addicts cajole, confront and drag Jake who is (sometimes kicking and screaming) through the landmine of recovery and relapse.  These scenes engage the audience and allow them to genuinely root for Jake to obtain and ultimately retain his sobriety. Possibly not since Union Army General William Tecumseh Sherman’s epic and destructive march through the Civil War South has a phoenix risen from the ashes of his own hubris with such pathos.
See this film and be inspired. 
See this film and be encouraged.
See this film and be hopeful.