“Requiem for a Running Back” Gives Freep Film Festival Goers a Look at Long-Term Concussion Effects

Flim director talks about her father’s battle with CTE

Sandra Svoboda


The film Requiem for a Running Back explores concussions in the NFL and centers around Lewis Carpenter, who played for the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers. His daughter Rebecca directed Requiem and looks back on his life and how CTE affected him during her discussion with Detroit Today guest host Laura Weber Davis. They were also joined by Carpenter’s partner for the film Sara Dee.


Carpenter says as children, “We all have developmental milestones that we need to hit… when you have one parent that’s all-consumed with a brain disease and another parent who’s all-consumed with taking care of them… the children are often left to fend for themselves.”


Carpenter says the NFL has not done enough to help former players and their families. And she says there’s only so much it can do to prevent serious brain injuries.


“I don’t think there’s any way around it. I think it’s the nature of the sport,” said Carpenter.


The film is screening at the Detroit Institute of Arts 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Marvin and Betty Danto Lecture Hall and 2 p.m. Sunday at Emagine Theatres in Royal Oak. Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson will lead a discussion with Carpenter, former defensive lineman for the Washington Redskins Markus Koch, and others.


To hear more from Carpenter’s and Dee’s conversation on WDET’s Detroit Today, click on the player above.