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Tell Me Who I Am: A gripping, haunting and perplexing piece of cinema

Nicholas Pipitone

Nov. 3, 2019 at 2:22PM

There seems to be a middle ground in cinema, somewhere between documentary and narrative film that needs delineation; and Netflix's Tell Me Who I Am falls smack dab in the middle of it. Narrative films lie in the scripted world, and documentaries seem to live in the non-scripted universe. Most docs take a "day in the life" approach where we follow a character or group of characters around in their lives, getting a glimpse into their warts and all world. Tell Me Who I Am is a highly stylized piece of storytelling, with the only two characters we see are twin brothers, Alex and Marcus Lewis. They are interviewed and only ever appear in photographs and on a nicely it set. When the twin brothers were 20 years old Alex got into a motorcycle accident and lost all his memories and recognizes no one from his past -- except his twin brother Marcus. Marcus is tasked with filling in the blanks of Alex's history, but decides to leave out a few things -- horrific, awful, terrible things -- to spare his brother the pain. There is b-roll of the sprawling estate they grew up in, and still photos taken by Alex. We take a journey with these brothers as they come face to face -- literally - to confront their demons. Moral questions abound, most of which you will have to answer for yourself.