Unknown White Male (2006)
Critic Consensus: With a quirky visual style, this documentary follows a story of memory loss and confusion while posing provocative questions about the nature of personality.
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Critic Reviews for Unknown White Male
It doesn't help Bruce's cause that he is seen in archive footage to have been a smug, arrogant fellow; it's tempting to imagine that his memory has abandoned him in exasperation. A case of amnesia as overdue self-discovery, perhaps?
Given that this retrograde memory loss has cleansed Doug Bruce's perceptions and made him an altogether more open and emotional person, Unknown White Male suggests that amnesia could be the ultimate chicken soup for the soul.
In the end, it fails to offer any insight into the philosophical question it poses.
The whole movie feels sorta like a snow job.
Unknown White Male has moments you won't forget, appropriate praise for a documentary about amnesia.
Audience Reviews for Unknown White Male
Despite the allegations that this movie is a hoax, I still found it thought-provoking. I really didn't find Doug Bruce that likeable, but still worth a go.
I watched this through and completely went along believing it until, of course, I got on the internet and researched what people had to say. It turns out a fair number of people think that this is faked, and that there's a giant chance that Doug Bruce could have faked all of this in order to create an interesting new life for himself. After all, I have heard that he has met several famous people already who are sympathetic to his situation. He also has a girlfriend who looks like (and is?) a model, whom we see in the movie, who cares about him deeply. They appear to both be very happy. Would he have never met her if he remained the person that he was before? Keep in mind that Rupert Murray and all of Doug Bruce's friends believe that Doug is telling the truth, and pretty much stand by this. Nobody has outright admitted that they were in on any weird conspiracy between Doug and other people, as far as I can tell. But there don't appear to be any police records of Doug's initial appearance at the Coney Island police station, nor are the doctors who initially treated him present. There are only professionals who repeat, over and over, that yes there are three kinds of memory and that Doug's condition could theoretically be possible, but it would be strange given that he appears to have no cause for such strong amnesia. There is mention of the trauma that Doug experienced with his mother's death, but it doesn't seem to be connected to this. It remains murky. All of this truth-sifting aside, I enjoyed watching Doug re-enjoy his life and discover the imprints of his past. I wanted to believe him as he said that his personality now appears to be different from the way he was before, different from the jaded rich man with the arrogant sense of humor and a definite bunch of mannerisms. That's the thing about this movie, I notice - it's full of people who are rich, white, pretty, attractive. I don't see one real looking person at all being interviewed, which makes me wonder. And how exactly did Doug Bruce make all that money? He was a broker, this much we know, but what exactly does that mean, and how is it that he can hang out at his apartment all the time, re-discovering the world, without worrying one bit about how to make ends meet? He must have been loaded. Especially if he was living in such a spacious New York apartment, dammit. Despite all this, which came after, I did enjoy watching this movie. I just wish I knew for a fact if its content was true or not. I could imagine that if Doug really did suddenly forget everything for some random reason (like they all said, it could happen) people would still call repeatedly call him a fake. And It would hurt a lot, if I were him. I hear he has gone into relative seclusion. I don't blame him. I really hope (and wish) he is telling the truth.
This is an interested documentary about a guy that woke up on a subway with no memory of who he was and no identification on him, only a girls name and phone number. Doug Bruce, the amnesiac, discovers who he is and has to meet family and friends for the first time and decide what role they will play in his new life.
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