Gay Essential Films To Watch, Amnesia: The James Brighton Enigma

Amnesia: The James Brighton Enigma is a fictional story based on a real life incident that occurred in 1998.  A young American man (Dusan Dukic) is held at knifepoint by young thuds in a speeding car, stripped, beaten and left unconscious.  When he awakes naked in car park outside Montreal’s Black and Blue Rave, one of the largest gay circuit parties, he has no memory.  The only clue is a torn piece of paper with a phone number, knowing nothing of himself except that he is gay.

Taken by police to a hospital where he spends time in a psychiatric ward under the care of Dr Geneviève Marler (Louise Laprade), it is established that the amnesiac’s name might be James Brighton.  He speaks English but easily learns French when sent to class with Dr. Montoya (Ginette Boivin) but does not remember where he is from or how he got to the car park in Montreal.  Diagnosed with dissociative amnesia which is likely associated with a severe mental or emotional shock, all therapies fail in trying to find out more.

Through the help of local social workers, detectives, outreach group Gay SOS, and the media the true identity is slowly unveiled.  James tries to stabilise his new identity while dealing with conflicting emotions and fractured memory flashbacks.

Amnesia: The James Brighton Enigma


“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

“An engrossing journey that fills in with well-thought-out performances and strong pictorial scenes.”
   DVD Verdict

Did You Know?

Amnesia: The James Brighton Enigma is based on the true story of Matthew Honeycutt from Tennessee who thought he was James Brighton of New Jersey.   The outreach organisation in the film SOS Gay, is actually based on the Canadian LGBT helpline Gai Écoute. Review our Gay Themed Films here

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Alexander Ryll
Launched in June 2014, Gay Essential is the world’s largest gay themed film blog promoting new and rare features. I am helped by some amazing writers and we also cover film festivals in the UK and USA. We are 100% independent, without advertising or funding by film distributors. Help to keep Gay Essential independent by purchasing our merchandise GET (Gay Essential Tees)
Alexander Ryll
- 5 months ago
Alexander Ryll
Alexander Ryll