'Unknown White Male'
(Doug Bruce, Rupert Murray, et al / NR / 88 mins / Wellspring)
Overview: Just imagine waking up tomorrow with no memory of today or any other since the day of your birth. Imagine living without a history, without experience, no relationships, no past troubles. Imagine starting your life over again, making a new set of friends, finding new talents and falling in love for the first time. Imagine what it's like to see the world anew. On the 2nd July 2003 Doug Bruce left his apartment on the Lower East Side at about 8pm. No one knew where he was going. No one knew he'd gone. He turned up, 11 hours later, on the New York subway heading to Coney Island. He had no idea who he was.
Verdict: A film by Rupert Murray, produced by Beadie Finzi, 'Unknown White Male' (a reference to Doug Bruce's Emergency Room wristband) was an Official Selection at both the Sundance Film Festival 2005 and Seattle Film Festival 2005 respectively. Doug's amazing, and still on-going story began one day back in July 2003 when after leaving his apartment on the Lower East Side, he suddenly discovered that once onboard a New York train heading to Coney Island that he suddenly had no idea who he was. 'Unknown White Male' basically asks the recurring question: What would it be like if you woke up tomorrow with no memory of today or any day since your birth? Doug Bruce knows the answer to this worrying, thought-provoking question, but as we quickly find out isn't all that disconcerted by it either!
Indeed, it pans out that he rather likes this clean, defragged state of mind that his brain has chosen to provide him. What's more, it freely allows him, and without any pangs of conscience, to easily toss away once-old relationships he had had with people that he now finds tedious and annoying! Basically, with 37 years of his life history, his family, his friends, every experience he ever had, now wiped out, Doug was reborn and ready to witness a whole new experience ... the world at large. Filmed over one year by director and old friend Rupert Murray, 'Unknown White Male' explores the events of that fateful day and follows Doug as he rediscovers the world around him, as he travels from his new life in America back to Europe, his home for thirty years, to meet family and friends, and to confront the past. Paraphrasing one of the film's Psychologists, she observes that Bruce is certainly the same man but questionably the same person. Yet, and unquestionably, 'Unknown White Male' is part objective documentary, part intimate autobiography, but most of all it is easily one of the most engaging forms of reality TV to have been brought forth yet.
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