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Amnesia

3.3 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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(Sep 26, 2005)
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Playback Region 2 :This will not play on most DVD players sold in the U.S., U.S. Territories, Canada, and Bermuda. See other DVD options under “Other Formats & Versions”. Learn more about DVD region specifications here

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Inspired by true events, this shocking story unfurls as a young American wakes up stark naked in a parking lot one frigid morning in Montreal. The only thing he remembers is that his name is James Brighton (Dusan Dukic) and he is gay. After the police efforts produce no results, James desperately turns to a local gay hotline and a doctorial student for help. As the pieces of his actual identity unfold, a bizarre twist lands James in jail and everyone questioning who this person really is! Filmmaker Denis Langlois (Danny in the Sky, The Escort) keeps us on the edge of our seats and guessing throughout this amazing tale.

Review

Based on an astonishing true story, the sheer outrageousness of the central puzzle keeps us riveted --Shadows on the Wall

Highly engrossing take on an unforgettable story --Montreal Mirror

"Gem of a movie! An engrossing journey that fills in with well-thought-out performances and strong pictorial scenes." --DVD Verdict

Highly engrossing take on an unforgettable story --Montreal Mirror

"Gem of a movie! An engrossing journey that fills in with well-thought-out performances and strong pictorial scenes." --DVD Verdict

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors:  Tyler Hall, Derek Lebrero  Dusan Dukic
  • Directors: Denis Langlois
  • Format: Color, Dolby, PAL
  • Language: English, French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English, French
  • Region: Region 2 (Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: TLA Releasing
  • DVD Release Date: September 26, 2005
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000W1USIQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,224 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Amnesia" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
A young American man wakes up naked in a Montreal parking lot, with no memory of what who he is or how he got there. All he remembers about himself is that he is gay. So begins "Amnesia: The James Brighton Enigma" (Canadian 2005), a fictional story based on real life events.

The first thing that the young man eventually remembers is what he believes his name to be: James Brighton. He remembers other isolated things, such as some music he likes, expresses a familiarity with television broadcasting equipment, and easily picked up French as a second language when sent to a class. But he still claims not to remember where he is from, or how he got to that parking lot in Montreal. He is diagnosed with a rare type of amnesia, likely associated with a severe mental or emotional shock of some kind, but all therapies fail in trying to find out more. He turns for help to a staffer from the local gay helpline, as well as a doctoral student who has taken an interest in his case. He appears on a tabloid TV show broadcast throughout the United States, hoping that will provide leads as to who he really might be. When some calls come in, they suggest that James isn't who he claims to be at all, and perhaps faked his amnesia in order to force a new start away from legal problems in the US. What is likely his real life comes back to him gradually, in flashbacks, but we are never quite sure if that is the truth either.

An interesting approach to an amnesia story, with kind of a Lifetime / Movie of the Week vibe, though the acting is a bit better than that genre.
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Format: DVD
AMNESIA: THE JAMES BRIGHTON ENIGMA (Amnésie: L'énigme James Brighton) is an independent Canadian film based on fact, but with alterations of names and places to protect/enhance the real people. The title's two operative words are 'amnesia' and 'enigma' because watching this film places the viewer in the uncomfortable position of confusion as to fact and fiction - a state of main that must imitate the art of the story! The story is a version of an incident that occurred in 1998: a young nude lad was found in a deserted lot in Montréal, taken to a hospital where he was found to have total amnesia except for the fact that he knows he is gay and he believes his name is 'James Brighton'. The story is enhanced by a strong script by Bertrand Lachance and Denis Langlois (who also directs) and by a cast that is able and convincing, especially the main character James Brighton/Matthew Honeycutt (Dusan Dukic).

The grit of the film lies not so much in the storyline (that becomes fragmented at regular intervals due to the moments of memory return the main character experiences), but instead in the manner in which our amnesiac struggles to find his identity, a family, and a sense of belonging. Through the help of social workers, detectives, a gay hotline service, and the media the 'true' identity is slowly unveiled, but not without some serious setbacks - often presented to us as flashback bits and pieces as to who our amnesiac may be. The transitions between the Montreal scenes and the subsequent scenes in Tennessee (the apparent home of the amnesiac now known as Matthew Honeycutt) are choppy with sidebars of Pentecostal church services adding to the confused mix. Yet in the end the pleasure of the film is up to the viewer's interpretation of all the 'facts' that have been discovered: we are allowed to participate in the enigma. In Québecois, French, and English with variable subtitles. Grady Harp, December 07
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This small Canadian movie released in 2005 tackles a frequent cinematic topic: if we forget who are are, who are we? This "drawn from truth" story reimagines the circumstances of a young man found lost in Montreal with no recollection of himself or his former life. His nascent sense of self offers the possibility that he is gay, so a very enlightened Montreal offers resources for this man to reintegrate into a community where he might make friends. Unfortunately, he cannot recapture his true past -- or can he? As the story moves along, we are left puzzled and slightly confused about the nature of reality as we learn more about this man and his earlier and later life. The film is technically adequate, but looks as if it were shot direct to video with less than optimal lighting. The sound is fair, and there is a decent musical score. The acting and directing are good although somewhat unforgettable. The movie says a lot about the Canadian penchant for taking care of others without prejudgment -- and that's a good thing.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
MANESIA: THE JAMES BRIGHTON ENIGMA (French and English, subtitled, Orig. title amnesie: L'Enigma James Brighton, 2005, 90 minutes) ~

Matthew Honeycutt [a/k/a James Brighton] - Dusan Dukic

Sylvie - Karyne Lemieux

Dr. Montoya - Ginette Boivin

Felix Blain - Norman Helms

James Brighton [a/k/a "the real James Brighton"] - Steven Turpin

Based on the true story of Matthew Honeycutt of Tennessee, this marvelous, unpretentious Canadian production will reduce you to tears in a couple of places. It is 1998, very chilly October in Montreal. A young gay man awakens in a parking area completely nude, disoriented, cold and injured. He finds his clothes, dresses and soon the police have him admitted to the nearest hospital. He can recall his name is James Brighton and that he is gay. His amnesia is otherwise complete.

Thanks to Felix Blain, of an organization that is called "SOS Gay" (based on the Canadian gay hotline GAY ECOUTE), 'James' is helped, finds a place to stay (with Felix but there is no funny business) and thanks to Dr. Montoya he is able to recover physically and learn French. I was stunned at the number of French speakers in this bilingual place, but then I do not know it at all. It was like he was in France or Belgium. This film, though choppy and confusing, is a must-see. It is the only honest record we have of a true case that has had me stumped for almost 20 years.

This film, of course, has taken some liberties and the poetic license is quite fascinating to be honest about it. The real-life case left a lot of unanswered mysteries that this film fills in for us in a clever way. The mysterious criminology student Sylvie is writing up the case for her doctoral thesis.
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