Greek director Christos Nikou has crafted a film about a pandemic that causes amnesia and a bureau, the Disturbed Memory Department for Amnesiacs, that works to re-educate those so affected.
It opens with the main character, Aris (Aris Servetalis) knocking his head against a wall and, shortly thereafter, he is on a bus but has no idea where he is going.
Many others are affected. Apples enter the plot as being good for the memory, according to a grocer, and Aris is shown wolfing them down hungrily onscreen.
During the course of the re-education of Aris, the Bureau sets him up with housing, walking around money, and a set of instructions as to what he is supposed to do. The Learning How to Live New Identity Program will have us watching Aris bicycle, solicit a lap dance, attend a costume party, go to a movie, take Polaroids of all new experiences and do the Twist, a dance made popular in the U.S. in 1960 by Chubby Checker. [Why would a song that is 70 years old be playing at the disco? No idea. Maybe that is considered “cutting edge” in this film’s country of origin.]
I’m a big fan of plots that have a beginning, a middle, and an end.
This plot has a beginning and a long middle. It has no end.
It won a Slovene Film Festival award for Best Sound and has nominations in several other Feature Film competitions, including both the 56th Chicago International Film Festival and the 43rd Denver International Film Festival.
One of the things I found most off-putting about the film is the fact that Alzheimer’s Disease is basically rampant in this country now. It’s truly not a “funny” thing to lose all sense of identity and not know where you are going or who you are. I did not like this film for that and other reasons that have nothing to do with the argument that it posits amnesia as a cure and not a disease.
Losing your mind is not funny and too many people I have personally known, including my father, have experienced it, so no recommendation from me for this one.