Unknown White Male (2006) Trailer
Unknown White Male is an exuberantly visual documentary, working with an unusually powerful narrative. The story of Doug Bruce's experience of amnesia and how he has come to terms with his new world is utterly fascinating in all its detail. The director, Rupert, and Doug were friends before Doug's amnesia and during the process of making the film they have got to know each other again, adding a personal perspective to a film about memory, change and friendship.
The film brings the experience of memory loss graphically to life but in doing so raises questions that affect us all. How would we cope in such a situation? If we could start again would we choose the same life, the same friends? Is it possible that losing your memory could be as much of a blessing as a curse? Who are we without our memories? Mary Warnock, the famous British philosopher who came to see the film in the edit, asked the key question about Doug that 'he was the same man as he was before the catastrophe, but is he the same person?'
Unknown White Male was shot over ten months on Hi Definition and super 16mm, featuring key interviews and actuality recorded with Doug, his friends and family as well as the reconstruction of Doug's first day, waking up on the New York subway and being held at Coney Island hospital. Rupert also weaves into the cut, fragments of the past that Doug has lost including super 8mm and hi8 of the band of friends growing up in London in the 1980's and 1990's. There are also astonishing DV video diaries that Doug began filming immediately after memory loss, a unique record of what happened to him as he adjusted to his new life. This includes a very moving interview with Doug just one week after his amnesia, supplied by Palm Pictures.