Opening February 24, 2006
A Wellspring Release
We invite you to imagine what it would be
After watching UNKNOWN WHITE MALE,
A man in his mid-thirties with a sudden and severe case of retrograde amnesia, Doug Bruce had perhaps been one of those guys you might read about in a Bret Easton Ellis novel: a cynical, British former stock broker and party boy living the good life in Manhattan. Though he had left the financial world and had started to embrace his passion for photography at some point before the amnesia struck, the Doug Bruce we meet in UNKNOWN WHITE MALE may be the same man but an entirely different person. Without any of the mental furniture in the attic that most of us accumulate over the years, Doug must take a profound journey to discover who he was and, more important, who he will become.
In relating what is a real-life psychological and biological mystery, director Rupert Murray, who'd been a close friend of his subject, seizes on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to closely examine the evaporation of memory and the nature of memory itself. Memory loss has often been used as a narrative device in fiction films, from "Spellbound" to "Memento" to "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." But UNKNOWN WHITE MALE tells, with a striking visual style and tremendous empathy for both its subject and audience, a story that is too real for fiction.
As Murray walks us through his subject's quest to restart his life, we see how Doug Bruce retains what he admires about his former self while casting off what he dislikes. We see him play catch up with popular culture and current events, experience with him the serenity of a first snowfall and the bombast of fireworks; and we watch as he gingerly reconstructs relationships with family and friends he does not recognize and fall in love with a woman who knows only the post-accident version of her lover. It is at once a nightmare and a dream come true: a chance at rebirth, and at reinvention.
One of the most acclaimed discoveries at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, UNKNOWN WHITE MALE has gone on to intrigue crowds at the Los Angeles, Chicago and Seattle Film Festivals