Having forgotten what several habits entail, including brushing his teeth, tying his shoelaces, and riding a bicycle, Alex is nudged towards recovery by Marcus. His doting brother gives him primers on their friends, shows him photos of their holidays, and fills in Alex's gaps with regards to their parents -- an eccentric mom and their distant dad. He is also initiated into the strict rules they have to live under and the slightly odd details of their life: the two of them sleep in the shed, don't possess a key to their own home, and aren't allowed to go upstairs. It's only in their thirties, after their mother's death, that Alex discovers a secret closet with a disturbing childhood photo of him and Marcus naked with their heads have lopped off from the photograph. He confronts Marcus, and the secret that has been teased to viewers finally comes into focus: Marcus has been fabricating the childhood that Alex remembers since the accident. The devastating truth about their past emerges despite Marcus's intricate charade. They were sexually abused by their mother.
Marcus's section of the story, despite his betrayal towards Alex (and the viewer), is deeply moving. His choices don't seem to be dictated by the sociopathic impulse to play god as much as sparing his sibling from the horrors of their childhood. After all, is there a greater act of filial fealty than to protect your brother from the trauma of memories that scar you for life? As he explains, "Alex lost his memory by accident. And I lost my memory voluntarily. And it was great. And I was free. And I could be rid of all the things she'd done to me." It's a heart-wrenching moment that forces you to pause for air.
After Alex confronted Marcus at the dinner table in their family home decades ago, he apparently retreated into a shell, unable to broach the topic and the details of what happens in their childhood. The final section of the documentary brings the two brothers together in Alex's quest to find the final piece of the jigsaw puzzle of their childhood abuse.
This is unfortunately where the elaborately Daedalian orchestration of the production starts to show. There are one of those filmmaker-mandated therapy sessions where the two brothers sit across each other at a table -- catharsis for the viewer, not the two of them -- that never shakes off the phoniness of a reality show intervention. As Alex himself notes, Marcus and him run their companies together. The two of them even co-wrote a book about their childhood and experiences together with prolific nonfiction author Joanna Hodgkin. Are we to believe that they never dug into this incredibly painful memory with each other before getting in front of the cameras for this documentary?