Sunday, January 10, 2010

Unknown White Male

I watched a really interesting movie this weekend: Unknown White Male. It's a documentary following a man who suddenly awoke on a New York subway to the realization that he didn't know who he was. The movie chronicles the first few terrifying and disorienting days of amnesia and the year-long process of re-learning who he was and re-acquainting himself with his life and his community.

The film raised a few interesting questions.
  • Life events and identity- how much of our identity is made up of our past events? If we are the sum total of experiences in our lives, then who are we if all of that is stripped away?
  • Community and identity- how much of our identity is inextricably linked to the people we live in community with? Who are we apart from those who are our closest family and friends.
  • Wonder- the most fascinating part of the film to me was watching Doug embrace new experiences with the appreciation of an adult but the wonder of a child. Whether it was his first sight of the ocean or his first taste of Italian food, he approached life with a fuller passion and embrace. What if we could live with that sense of wonder?


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