made with the support of the Sciart
In 1980 Pat Martino moved his belongings
from California to Philadelphia to live with two complete strangers:
his parents. As a young jazz guitar virtuoso he had achieved near legendary
status during the 60s and 70s, before being diagnosed with a life-threatening
brain condition. Surgery had saved his life but wiped his memory. Back
in his childhood home, surrounded by the relics of his former life,
his father played him his old recordings at full volume and friends
rallied to try to coax him back to being the great artist he had been.
He could not dispute the evidence; the face in the mirror was the same
as the one on the record sleeves but it meant nothing to him. Amnesia
had ripped selfhood from his brain and rendered his life meaningless.
He was nobody.
Director Ian Knox and Neuropsycologist Paul
Broks travel America in search of the soul of the legendary jazz
guitar great Pat Martino. Tracing his remarkable return from the
depths of amnesia to the peak of artistic achievement, Broks explores
the nature of memory, self, creativity and the mysterious brain
mechanisms underlying the construction of personal identity. What
is the self? How much change can it survive? Pat Martino is an
unlikely American hero whose moving story holds meaning for us