REVIEW: Jenny Wood documentary shows the power of music, impact on community


The Wichita Eagle

Screen grab from “I Am Not Scared: The Miracle of Jenny Wood” a documentary by The Wichita Eagle.

On Monday, The Wichita Eagle released a documentary to tell the story of Jenny Wood and her impact on the Wichita community, titled “I Am Not Scared: The Miracle of Jenny Wood.”

Jenny Wood was in a devastating car accident on May 5 that killed her mother and her niece and left her hospitalized. A woman driving a stolen car was running from police and t-boned Wood’s car in the intersection at Douglas and Broadway. Wood was on the way to her niece’s graduation.

Wood suffered a brain injury, broken pelvis, ribs, and more. She was given only a 5% chance of survival.

“She could have easily died,” Wood’s doctor, James Haan, said.

The documentary is five separate parts, each about seven to 10 minutes long. Each part starts with Wood’s first concert back. Her voice shakes and she seems so fragile. It is easy to see how much the concert means to her and to have her community behind her through this fight.

County Commissioner, and Wood’s friend, Lacey Cruse organized a candlelight vigil so the community could come together and pray for Wood’s recovery. Cruse also organized a benefit concert to raise money for her medical bills. Wichita came together to help this woman whose music touched them.

Wood grew up in Wichita. She traveled across the country playing music but ended up coming back to be with her family. She never gave up music.

Wood’s signature style is her whistling. It is hard to describe how whistling can be an instrument and its own form of music, but as soon as one of Wood’s songs plays, it explains itself.

Wood began an anti-bullying campaign at Wichita schools. The documentary features one of the students that Wood really impacted. Isabelle, the student, was able to overcome her bullying and channel it into her artwork, just as Wood channeled everything into her music.

The fifth and final section of the documentary is about Wood’s first concert back. It’s the first time she’s shown singing at the concert. She seems so frail until she sings.

When she breaks into song, her voice fills the audience. Everything all her friends have been talking about during the film becomes obvious. She survived the impossible and is thriving through it all.

It truly is a story about Wichita and one of Wichita’s greatest community members.