Probably the most attractive member of The Band, and a prototype for most of the men in Echo Park at the moment, Levon Helm gets his due in Ain’t In It For My Health.
True, some may fault it for not providing more insight as to the demise of The Band, Helm’s strained relationship with Robertson, or even Helm’s battles with addiction, bankruptcy, and cancer in the last 30 years. This is not a film for The Band or Dylan fan-boys, there are plenty of articles, books, and films about both if that’s what you need to get from this film. The weakest part of the film are the quotes from a “music historian” who serves his purpose in providing back-story about The Band and Helm, his scenes in the movie are only made worse by his British accent.
The one thing this film does that makes is so special is that the movie brings you something so many other documentaries neglect. Ain’t in it for My Health gives you the opportunity to feel like you’re sitting with someone at their kitchen table, drinking coke out of plastic cups, while listening to them tell stories about catching catfish out of a log. As a viewer, a fan, and someone who was not looking for a film to school me on the history of rock that’s all I needed, and I hope there’s enough people out there who feel the same way. Made for Hollywood? No. Made for us?Absolutely.