Review: Tell Me Who I Am
The "gift" of a different life.
When Alex Lewis was 18, he was in a motorcycle accident. He sustained a head injury that left him in a coma, and when he woke up, the only person he recognized was his twin brother Marcus. He didn't recognize his parents, had no memory of anything that happened before the moment he woke up, and had to re-learn nearly everything. Since Alex had no reason at all not to trust Marcus, he decides to ignore their traumatic past and fill his brother's head with more hopeful and normal stories of their childhood. After their parents die, Alex finally begins to ask Marcus more hard hitting questions.
What happened to Alex after his accident is extraordinary in itself. How do you lose everything except your knowledge of your twin? The brothers clearly have a strong bond and Alex speaks very fondly of Marcus. There's no hint of contempt for the deception. They wrote an autobiography together about this story back in 2013 that I have not read, but I feel they've summed up everything well here. Alex tells us stories about not knowing what dogs were and being thrilled with his mother brought a few home, but then the stories get darker. Like how he thought it was normal that the brothers were forced to live in a shed at one point and were not allowed upstairs or to have a key to their own house. The film gets flat out uncomfortable when Marcus finally breaks down to us what really went on in their household.
There's nothing flashy about this doc, it's a very straightforward interview with the Lewis brothers and I think that works best. There is a lot to unpack here. What happened to them is horrible and it's hard to listen to them relive it. On the other hand there's also a very inspiring story of brotherly love. While Marcus didn't get the luxury of forgetting this trauma and explaining it to Alex was hard, he got through it and he knows he's not defined by it.
Clocking in at a swift 1hr25 minutes, this is definitely a documentary you should check out if you have a Netflix subscription
Memorable Quote: "He just said yes." - Alex