I spent most of the time during the Sundance screening of this British documentary wondering whether it was, in fact, fake and I was having the wool pulled over my eyes by some clever-clever filmmaker. Ultimately, though, the truth was more simple: it’s a poor example of documentary-making. It’s the clunkiness of the technique rather than the extremity of the story – an Englishman, Doug Bruce, loses his memory while living in New York and has to reconstruct his life from scratch – that distracts. It’s hard, too, not to see this entire enterprise as exploitative, considering that its subject is suffering from a severe psychological disorder. Not that director Murray takes the science at all seriously; it’s the element of soap opera that he enjoys the most.
Friday April 7 2006
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