Skip to main content

Movie Review: "Tell me Who I Am" is Haunting, Devastating and Surprisingly Uplifting

Starring Alex Lewis, Marcus Lewis
Directed by Ed Perkins

Reviewed by Patrick Gibbs

 Out of Four

The most compelling movie of the year is a Netflix premiere, but it's not The Irishman, Dolemite Is My Name or Marriage Story. It's a little documentary about twin brothers Alex and Marcus Lewis.

Tell Me Who I Am chronicles a dramatic true story that would seem far too lurid to believe if it was fiction. At the age of eighteen, Alex Lewis was in a motorcycle accident that left him a head injury and the loss of his memory. The only thing Alex could remember was his twin brother, Marcus: everything else, including the rest of his family was gone. He didn't recognize his own mother, or have every memories of who she was. The only person, the only anything that Alex had to cling to was Marcus, who took on the monumental task of giving his brother back his life and his memories. 

Or something like them.

Alex Lewis
(Images Courtesy Netlfix)
Director Ed Perkins became fascinated with the Lewis brothers after reading their memoir, in which they chronicled their harrowing story. As Marcus leads Alex back into his past and his identity, he took some liberties and shortcuts on the journey. To put it simply, Marcus lied. He gave his brother only positive memories, leaving out the dark and deeply disturbing truth of the horrific childhood that they had experienced together.  The house that the lived in with their mother, stepfather and two younger half siblings held unspeakable secrets that Marcus sought to shield his brother from, and succeeded for two years, until a strange and unsettling discovery brought it all crashing down.

Marcus Lewis
(Images Courtesy Netlfix)
The story of Tell Me Who I Am is  packed with more mystery, twists and melodrama than a Robert Ludlum novel, and Perkins constructs the film as a puzzle that needs to be pieced together. We see some very harrowing moments play out as they are really happening, as the brothers sit down for the first time to discuss things they have literally never talked about before. It's easy to accuse the film of a certain voyeuristic exploitation, but it's ultimately justified by the importance of the story and the message of love and healing. The brothers agreed to make the film to find closure for themselves, as well as in hopes that their story could inspire others to open up about their own traumas. 

No unlike 2018's brilliant documentary Three Identical Strangers, this film seemed to speak to me directly on a very personal level. As an identical twin myself, there was an immediate sense of connection and understanding of this unique relationship dynamic and the feeling of having a literal other half of yourself `that may be beyond total comprehension to many viewers. I freely admit that the the personal connection I felt effected my feelings about the film, but I refuse to see that as a negative. One certainly doesn't have to be a twin to be swept up by this story, and the filmmaker himself isn't one. 

Tell Me Who I Am isn't always easy to watch, and the most heartbreaking and upsetting elements of the story may haunt you indefinitely. But the uplifting spirit of love that Alex and Marcus share stuck just as powerfully for me, and that is what this unforgettable movie truly about: love, and the unbreakable bonds that come with it. It's also a strangely beautiful story of survival. 

The Bearded Trio - The Site For Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, John Williams and a whole lot more.


Popular posts from this blog

Did Paul Freeman Accidentally Eat A Fly In Raiders of the Lost Ark?

The Famous Indiana Jones Fly In Belloq's Mouth Scene.  Did It Really Happen? I've always wondered if Paul Freeman unintentionally consumed a fly in this scene in  Raiders of the Lost Ark ?  It's the scene where Indiana Jones shouts down to Bellosh...I mean Belloq and threatens to blow up the ark.  Did a fly go in his mouth? I remember watching this scene back in the early eighties and my ten year old mind thought he definitely had a snack while filming.  I recall talking about 'flygate' in my school playground at the time and the general consensus with my friends was that Freeman definitely had a sneaky snack. Paul Freeman talks about the famous 'fly' scene in an interview with  and settled 'flygate:' This is a bit of a dicey question so don’t get too upset. (Laughs) A movie’s always got bloopers in it, some have a lot, and some only have three or four. And the most remarkable blooper was right before the opening of th

Star Wars VII Movie Poster - Every End Is A New Beginning

Star Wars VII Movie Poster Just saw this Star Wars VII movie poster on Kyle Newman's Facebook fee d.  The poster is by  Lyndon Berresford and Paul Bateman.  I am loving this.  Who do you think the two characters are?  Lando and Leia?  Han and Leia's children? Have you seen other Star Wars VII movie posters?  Let me know. Rob Wainfur @welshslider

Explaining That "Weird" Cut In Poltergeist. Read The Missing Scene

Why Is There A Strange Cut In The 1982 Horror Classic, Poltergeist? If you're a fan of the 1982 Horror classic, Poltergeist then you will be very familiar with that "weird" cut in the movie.  It's 32 minutes and 47 seconds in to the movie and the scene is where Diane is explaining the strange phenomenon that is happening in the kitchen.  First, she shows to Steve a chair scraping across the floor all on its own then she does the same with Carol Anne.  Steve leans up against the kitchen wall and is completely shocked at what just happened.  It's at this point Diane starts to explain the sensation of being pulled and then...A very abrupt cut.  One moment we are listening to Diane and suddenly it cuts to Diane and Steve at their next door neighbours door.  Why the sudden cut?  It's on the VHS, DVD, Blu-Ray and even the streaming versions.  Why does this awful and weird cut exist in the movie, Poltergeist?  Watch the clip below to see the cut: Well, the ans