I Am Another You (2017) Movie Script

I left China in 2011.
I left to find something I'd
been searching for all my life.
Along the way, I've learned
I'm not the only one looking.
Traveling was one of the few
freedoms I knew in China.
Every year since I
was 20 years old,
I would celebrate my birthday
by traveling to a new place.
I started this
tradition in China.
On my first birthday
living in New York,
I bought a one-way ticket
and went to Florida.
I was excited to document
every conversation I had.
Welcome to America.
Like this is-- this is
what America is like.
Since I was a teen, I just
wanted to grab a backpack
and go travel, you
know, not knowing
where I'm going to sleep or
who I'm going to be with.
That excited me.
Tell me what's
your next plan-- travel?
I'm going to South
America for six months.
A few days into
the trip, I stayed at a hostel
where I met someone
whose mode of travel
was different from
anyone I knew.
How do you spell your name?
And your last name?
The first
night I met Dylan,
we talked for hours about
our lives and travels.
What did you have when
you first got on the road?
An empty backpack
and no money.
I just began to travel
across the country.
How can you pay the
hostel if you don't have money?
I-- I worked for them.
I-- I came here offering
my work for a place
to close my eyes at night that
was safe and a place to just
to be at peace.
So many
people come and go,
it's hard to remember.
I do know that when
I first met Dylan,
I immediately identified
he was a street kid.
Just because
he's a street kid.
You meet so many people,
you can see certain things.
It's evident.
And so we had a conversation
and made the agreement
that he would leave all those
survival skills of the street
They have no place here.
We identified that immediately.
And it's very rare
that we'll allow that.
But he's unique-- very
smart, very creative.
He's got one of the best
skills that you can have--
fearless in working--
fearless in doing.
- I
- wanted to experience the life
that Dylan described to me.
When he went back
to the streets,
I decided to follow him with
my camera despite the fact
that I hardly knew him.
Oh, we need a better map.
lost is where I'm found.
Upon arriving the path
that I am happy to tread,
my shoes come off, and I
experience that full connection
with the floor.
It's as if I can breathe better.
Observing everybody else
around in their entirety,
their passions, their
bizarre behaviors,
as well as their observing
me and my bizarre behaviors.
There's no time
living in this sense.
I don't know what day it is.
Every day is now, right now.
Every time is right now.
I taught Dylan
how to use my camera
so he could document
my experiences a while.
This was the first time I ate
food from our garbage can.
It was the beginning of
my short street life.
he goes, he leaves an echo
to show from the pitter
patter of his feet
to the magic incantation
he speaks, a man
from the past living
in the present.
So his presence is
living in the future.
Yesterday and tomorrow-- last
week was seven years long."
Why you choose
to be on the street?
Why are you choosing
to stay on the street?
I guess the only
objective is eating,
and happiness, and community.
What do you mean eating?
And I feed myself,
and I have a good attitude,
and I just go
wherever I want to go.
You can wander around
and see so many things
and meet so many people
that none of that
could ever occur if I were--
if I were just staying in one
place, working for one person.
I've gone through quite a
big portion of North America.
I'm just exploring,
just meeting people.
Hey, man, you got a Sharpie.
I really couldn't
answer and say when
I'll be done traveling or living
on the street in this way.
But anywhere I am, something
likely amazing happens.
My name is Jared.
And this is my
buddy here Jong.
My name is Dylan.
Nice to meet you.
Nice to meet you, man.
My name NANFU.
That's cool.
So you're from Utah, you said?
- Yeah.
What part did you say?
Just north of Salt Lake City.
Did you grow up Mormon?
Uh, yeah, for a minute.
For a hot minute?
Yeah, for a hot minute.
You are welcome
to stay the night.
That's a pullout.
She needs a good rest,
so she's earned it.
One of the first people
to buy here in the 1960s.
Jared had
known us for just a few hours.
You guys want a beer?
But he invited us home.
It had been days since
I slept under a roof.
So I've been there.
You know, I've been
traveling by myself.
I've had no place to stay.
So I just figured
I'd extend a hand.
And I like him, you know?
He's a funny cat, man.
You know, he's young,
and he's finding himself.
It's tough living life on
the street and on the roads.
took us to dinner that night.
I told myself one day I'd
come back and thank him.
But I don't even
remember where he lived.
Am in the camera?
- A beer, right?
- A Budweiser, please.
- Budweiser.
- Thank you.
Oh, OK.
Oh, OK.
Oh, yeah, yeah.
I hadn't told my family
that I was living on the
streets with someone I just
met and wasn't involved with.
They wouldn't understand
why a homeless person
would be worth following.
The idea that someone
would choose to be homeless
would be inconceivable to them.
But this was a kind of freedom
I had never encountered before.
Everywhere we went, I was
amazed by how many people
were interested in this life.
- Don or Dylan?
- Dylan.
How long are you
planning to do this?
I don't know, man.
I have no idea.
I'll see where
the road takes me.
I'm just fascinated.
So what made you like--
did someone else do
this that you decided to do it?
I wondered
if the presence of my camera
affected how people behave.
So sometimes I would
retreat from Dylan
and wait until
something happened.
This guy met Dylan in
front of a coffee shop
while I was sitting inside
charging my battery.
They talked for hours.
And then he invited
Dylan to his home.
We were just carrying
a conversation,
and we got something in
common with a hostile.
I stayed in a hostile
that was in California.
I just decided that it was good
to have some money to give.
It just makes me feel
good to be able to--
makes me feel good it
you can help somebody.
What part of
his story interested you?
Well, I guess the way--
the choices he makes.
Street life was
free and exciting for Dylan.
But it wasn't that
way for everyone.
Why were people so generous to
Dylan, but not to the others?
I began to realize the
privilege of choosing
to be on the streets,
which includes both of us.
A little
something to get people here.
Who came here a member?
came-- did anybody
come to meet with God tonight?
Well, we're glad that you
chose to come here tonight.
Who has been here
before and decided
they might come back again?
All right, well, I think
we're in the right place.
So let's pray over the meal.
Father, I thank you for tonight.
I think you--
I just love--
I love humanity.
I'm here experiencing
humanity at its most.
Do you have like any
type of like legal issues
in your background that--
that would, you know, add--
I'm just curious, to like--
Nothing extreme.
I mean, I made a
lot of mistakes.
By the time I was 14, I
was on heroin and selling
drugs till about 20 years old.
I mean, I'm
assuming you probably
have maybe some
high school or you
may have finished high school?
I finished high
school-- did some college.
I quit college,
because I mean,
I can learn more in a library
than I could at a school,
studying what I'm
interested in for free.
The point I'm
trying to bring out
is that it's going to be that
much harder for you basically
putting this on your resume
when you're trying to get a job.
I mean, I'm having a
hard enough time myself.
I don't feel as
if I'm doing wrong.
Maybe I'm doing different
than anybody else would think.
But man-- I'm--
No, it's not that.
I'm whole.
Right, no, I'm not
saying you're doing wrong.
I know that.
I know.
But yeah, no, I'm
just saying, you know--
I'm just telling how
I-- how I feel about it.
You know, it just-- it just
seems like, you know, like--
the easier way out.
For now, I'm only 22.
Fuck, I feel like a
100-year-old person.
I mean, I've been through a
lot, I've lived through a lot,
and experienced a lot of
beautiful and ugly places.
Dylan told me later
that he was angry
for the condescension
he felt from this person.
He told me how much he resented
the judgment religious people
had shown him in his life.
But I was amazed by
how comfortable he
seemed in situations like this.
Hallelujah, holy,
holy, God almighty, great I am.
I'm so sorry.
This is Dylan.
Hi, Dylan, welcome.
God bless you.
And who is your friend?
This is NANFU.
- Hi, NANFU.
- And what are you doing?
Just taking some shots.
yeah, him, yeah.
Oh, is he-- is he--
Our journey.
It's a journey.
Oh, thank you for coming today.
Come on in.
Well, look who's back in town.
They don't want to
filmed-- those two.
Jesus, we come to you, Lord.
Give us our gifts
It's just like a cast
on us and our mind.
We want to have that fix
that you can give us.
When we ask for
forgiveness for whatever
we've done to somebody--
if we..
For whatever reason you
have him on this journey, Lord
God, we just want to pray
your holy spirit will capture
his heart, and capture his mind,
and capture Dylan, and turn him
into the man that you have--
you have designed
him to become, Lord.
And he is seeking.
He is on a quest, Lord Jesus.
I pray that you will
just give him the answers
that he's looking for, Lord.
We pray your favor upon Dylan.
We pray that salvation,
healing, and deliverance
will come to Dylan's
body, soul, and spirit.
And to his friend, also,
Lord, we just pray for her.
We pray that as they
travel together, that Lord,
you would put a hedge of
protection around them
and that, Lord, your spirit
will fall upon them like it did
when you fell upon.
And we just bleed your blood,
Jesus, over their lives,
over their hearts,
and their minds,
and their emotions,
Lord, and we say
thank you, Lord,
for the opportunity
to pray and bless
them, in Jesus' name.
- I
- typically never make a sign.
But I figured, why not?
A simple sign manifested into
encountering this man, George.
How do you like
the United States?
- You like it?
- Yeah.
offered me the $50 bonus
to tour a luxury timeshare
in North Beach, Miami.
Guys, um, I need you to
come over here for a minute--
just initial this.
required a bit of paperwork
and fibbing as far as my
occupation and salary.
So what?
I could use $50 to
help myself and to help
this man make a few dollars
off of referring me.
Hey, you got to wash
your hands, all right?
Come on.
There's your ID.
You've got to finish the tour
in order to get the gift.
So an hour, hour
and a half, they're
going to have snacks up there.
They're going to tell you
about a vacation club,
and you know, if
you like it, buy it.
If you don't-- if you don't make
spur of the moment decisions,
whatever it is that you do
or don't do, it's up to you.
You don't have to buy
anything for the gift.
Thank you, again.
I'll be here when
you get done, OK?
I'll be here waiting to pay you.
about a 25 minute van ride.
And you end up at this
beautiful facility.
Sure, I'll pretend to be a
hot shot, wealthy young guy,
covered in dirt, stinky.
The pressure of the
older one is always good.
OK, cool.
I told
her I was a master carpenter.
That was my way of
explaining my hands
being all dirty and stained.
Right on.
Oh, that's good.
The $50 Dylan
earned last for a few days,
maybe beyond the few days
I had with him on the streets.
But he decided to go to
a restaurant for dinner.
And the rest of the
money he gave away.
After a few minutes,
not surprisingly,
Dylan became friends
with the people
sitting at the next table.
What's your name?
I'm Dylan.
Dylan? nice to meet you.
Uri, yeah.
That's my grandma.
That's your grandma?
My mom.
This is my mom.
Nice to meet you all.
They gave Dylan $20
and their contact information,
I promise.
I hope not.
All right.
All right.
I love it.
I love it.
You guys have
a beautiful night.
Thank you.
You too.
- I
- was worried that we would
be kicked out of this park.
Sure enough, I got
woken up by the police.
You can cavity search me.
Before we headed north,
I went to a bathroom in the
bagel shop to clean myself.
It took me so long
in the bathroom
that the staff noticed
and questioned me.
I told them about Dylan
and that I was filming him.
Dylan, some
bagels for us on the road.
Do you want to come in
and say thank you to them?
I don't know why
he's in that situation,
but for whatever
reason, he's there.
So why not help?
How much
money did you give him?
Just $5. $5.
Then like a half pack of smokes.
Then we give him some
bagels and stuff.
That was the boss's idea there.
You know, just some bagels
and some cream cheese.
Heard he was living on
the streets and hungry.
So you know, why
not help someone?
Soon after, we
were back on the road.
Dylan decided to
sell the bagels.
No one wanted a bagel.
But many people
gave him the money.
What did you tell him?
I said, you do
you need a bagel for $1?
I'm trying to hit this bus.
And he was like, hold on.
Hold on.
He went inside and bought some
beer and came back with $1.
But he didn't ask for a bagel.
- I
- was annoyed that Dylan wanted
to get rid of the bagels.
I felt that he was
ungrateful for the kindness
people showed him.
I felt disgusted that I
lost interest in filming
and gave him the camera.
When I first met
Dylan, he seemed
like a symbol for
the free America
I had always heard about.
But the longer I spent observing
how he used his freedom,
my feelings changed.
Can you spare a dollar?
I don't eat
that much food.
I don't want to carry
that around for so long,
I don't want to have to
take three shits a day.
I'm not going to get any
money from anybody or food
if I'm carrying a big
bag of bagels around.
My objective is
drinking right now.
And now I have to beg
again, which I never beg.
I have to beg today
to get some beer--
so I can think straight enough
to know what's bothering me.
So you
already knew the answer.
You already knew it, right?
I need to drink
and think about it.
It doesn't involve
you, but I just
still need to think about it.
he threw away the bagels,
I couldn't stand it.
We had an argument.
I criticized him for taking
advantage of people's kindness.
But then I thought to myself--
was I the one who was taking
advantage of him by filming?
Shortly after this, my
trip with Dylan ended.
Dylan stayed on the streets.
And I went back to
my life in New York.
Everything looked
different after the trip.
My few weeks on the
streets showed me
that my everyday worries from
before all seemed pointless.
I knew that whatever
happened, I could survive.
I soon became busy making a
film about Chinese human rights.
The survival skills I learned
on the streets with Dylan
became useful as I was on
the run across China chased
by the police.
I often find myself
comparing my experience
filming in both countries.
I felt safer sleeping
on the streets
than I did traveling in
China on buses and trains.
Two years quickly went by.
I often wondered what
would happen to Dylan
and if I would see him again.
I started
doing these around 2013.
What I would do is
in between calls
or when I was on call and
driving around in my work
truck, I would just take the
GoPro to one of the windows
and just say what
was on my mind.
It is a beautiful day.
Got to enjoy those
every chance you get.
I am headed out to do some
scouting on a target house--
a little bit.
And then I got to pick
up some new handcuffs,
because mine got stuck on
the last guy I arrested.
And that's really upsetting,
because I've had that pair
of handcuffs for 24 years--
an entire career.
years after I first met Dylan,
I traveled to Utah
for the first time
for the Chinese human rights
film I was working on.
I remembered that
Dylan was from Utah,
and I was curious to
see if I could learn
more about where he came from.
I have
lots of disks where
I have recorded my thoughts--
just like a video journal.
And there's a lot of things that
are special to me, you know,
that I am glad I
have documented.
ICAC search warrant
Park City, Utah.
Search warrant!
Search warrant!
Search warrant.
Search warrant!
I've been a
detective since 2011.
I investigate sex crimes.
I'm also assigned to
investigate internet crimes
against children.
We'll execute a search warrant.
High 90% of the time, we find
evidence of child pornography.
Well, the first
several times, I had
to review material,
because I can't say, well,
I think this is child porn.
I have to review it and
make sure what it is.
And I have to be
able to describe
a number of images and videos.
So the first time I did
have to do those reviews,
I got some vicarious trauma.
And I don't cry hardly ever.
I sat down at my desk one
day and just started to cry.
This was a way to get
those things off my chest.
Even though I'm only
talking to myself,
I couldn't talk to
other people about it.
Every once in a while,
I'd wake up really early,
and I just couldn't
go back to bed.
So I decided just go to work.
I started the camera
from my driveway.
And it was super dark, so
you can't see anything.
But you could hear what
I was talking about.
I have three kids.
My youngest is 15.
He gets straight A's in school--
very smart.
My daughter is working on
graduating from college.
She's so kind hearted and good.
And my oldest boy--
he's 23.
He's been a transient
all around the country.
No parent wants their child
to be homeless on the street.
I think when you're a parent,
you want your children
to be kind like you.
He looks just like I did when
I was his age or younger.
We have a lot of similarities
in our voice and the way
that we really
care about people.
All three of my children grew
up with the same expectations
and the same knowledge.
And they all turned out
so very differently.
I'm kind
of a religious person.
Well, I'm actually a
very religious person.
I wouldn't dream of
breaking the rules.
But Dylan is all
out there happily
breaking all the rules that he
can get away with, you know?
I feel like if he has a sense
of freedom with breaking rules,
you know?
I don't think he likes
to be bound by anything.
Or I don't think he likes
to be told what to do.
The way I see homeless people is
people who made bad decisions,
you know?
And I'm sure if
they could go back,
they'd change those
bad decisions.
The way Ashton feels
was 100% totally his choice.
He can do whatever he wants.
Dylan, the same way.
He has the freedom to choose.
I learned that Dylan
has a very loving family.
I wondered what made him
choose to live on the streets.
Part of
it is he hated Utah.
He hated the local religion.
And so he had made some friends.
And they had different
There was drug use
in those circles.
His drug habit got
more and more intense.
And he'd had some
psychological problems
that we tried to deal with.
He gets his
medications, and he'll
go out and sell it for $300.
So there was a lot
of frustrations,
you know, what
can we do to help?
When you have a child
you want to help,
you've got to
simplify the rules.
And I had simple rules--
don't bring drugs into my house.
And I made him come up
with the consequence.
All right, so if you
violate these rules.
What's the consequences?
He came up with it.
He said, I'm out.
And so there was a time when I
found some things in his room
I just-- and I
pointed it out to him.
And I said, well, what's
going to happen now?
He says, dad, I don't know.
I got to go.
He told me, just drop
me off in the mountains
or driving up on 89--
just drop me off
in the mountains.
I said, I can't drop you
off in the mountains.
He said, it's getting cold,
and you'll die of exposure.
So I bought him a bus
ticket to San Diego.
And I looked up
every social service
program that can help him that
was in the San Diego area.
I printed those up with maps.
I had his whole itinerary
of being homeless planned.
Here's where the bus station is.
Here's where you
can get some food.
Here's where someone can
help you to get a job.
He was excited to go in a way.
And I'm frightened.
I'm terrified at this point.
So at the end of
the day, I took him
down to the Greyhound
station, and I
had that $400 in my pocket.
And I thought to myself, if
I just give him $400 here,
and we part ways, he'll
be in downtown Salt
Lake buying drugs.
So I waited until he was in
line for the Greyhound bus.
Then I gave him $400.
I said, don't lose it.
Don't lose any of this stuff.
I want you to survive.
And I trust--
I trust you.
I trust that you can survive.
And I watched the bus go away.
And I call that one of the
three saddest days of my life--
one of them being
when Brendan died.
My first son passed
away at birth.
And that was tough.
I remember going out to the
cemetery and just crying.
I bathed his
headstone in my tears.
I couldn't believe all
the bad things that have
happened to me in my life--
one of them being when the
woman that I was married
to for 18 years
said she didn't want
to be married to me anymore.
I think the divorce was
really hard for Dylan.
I think it might
have had effects on Dylan.
But his behavior had
more effects on us.
For me, I kind of had a
breakdown, because I didn't
know what to do with him.
John didn't know
what to do with him.
And I think it strained
our relationship.
Dylan's mother agreed
to one interview with me.
But she didn't want
to participate further
in the film, because
reliving these memories
was very painful for her.
There's a lot of moms that
have homeless children that
are addicts.
And you never sleep at night.
You always worry about them.
As any mom with
an addicted child
will tell you that every
time the phone rings,
you wonder if that's the call.
Every time there's a number
that you don't recognize,
your heart drops,
because you know
that someday there's a
possibility that you're
going to get that call.
And that's something I
worry about all the time.
She was always convinced
that he was murdered somewhere.
And I-- I would say to myself,
no, no if something that
bad happened, somebody would--
I know how law
enforcement works.
They would have
figured out who he was.
And I would have
got a phone call.
So no news is good news,
but it was a long time.
And I was just terrified,
worrying like, oh,
my gosh, what did I do you?
You know, I just--
is he OK?
What's wrong?
Until the first
time he called me.
Oh, man, I was so glad
to hear his voice.
And he said, guess where I'm at?
He said he was on
somebody's boat.
And they'd hired him to help
him work on the guy's boat
and was paying him money.
And I thought, oh,
my, gosh, hallelujah!
So now he's in a
place that he likes.
And he has something
positive, you know?
And that's the first time
I learned this is where
Dylan just started being Dylan.
A few weeks later, he calls me--
guess where I'm at?
At a mansion in Malibu,
drinking a glass of wine
and looking at the ocean.
And he sends me a text
picture of a glass of wine,
and there's the ocean.
He's up on the hill in Malibu.
Oh, my gosh.
What the heck.
San Diego-- Panama City,
Florida, New York,
and all kinds of places.
Heck, he got on a
sailboat and was 80 miles
off the shore in blue water.
I'm thinking this kid is living
kind of a Forrest Gump, Walter
Mitty kind of existence, and--
and I started talking
to my friends about it.
I'm proud of Dylan
in so many respects.
You know?
And so interested.
But on the other side, what's
he going to do when he gets old?
I think to myself, what
are you doing, kid?
I'm confused, and
I don't understand,
and I hope he's happy.
I hope he is always up
for another adventure.
But I hope he's a healthy guy.
I hope he can find
the balance there--
because I don't want
him to die before I do.
Several months
after my first trip to Utah,
John was getting remarried,
and he invited me
to the wedding,
especially since
Dylan would be there.
It would be the first time any
of us had seen Dylan in years.
First, I
would like to welcome
everybody for coming out today.
I could go on all
day talking about how
wonderful my family is.
I just love them.
And my job makes
me grateful even
more for my family every day.
I'm going to focus a little bit
of attention on my children--
Dylan here.
Raise your hand, Dylan.
He's my oldest son.
Dylan is super-intelligent.
He is like one of the
most awesome adventurers
I've ever known--
very resourceful.
And one thing about
Dylan is he knows how
to write and express himself.
Like I read some of the
things that this kid wrote.
And I just want him
to put it in a book.
Kayla, she is the sweetest,
most kindest person in the world
I love you very much.
Without further ado, I'll
have Ashton play a song,
and in the middle of the
song is when we'll introduce
my beautiful bride to you guys.
By virtue of the legal
authority vested in me
as an elder of the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-Day
Saints, I pronounce you
John Corbon Olsen and Wendy
Sue May husband and wife legally
and lawfully wedded for the--
for the period of
your mortal lives.
May god bless you in this joy,
your posterity, and a long life
of happiness together.
And may he enable you to keep
sacred covenants you've made.
Mr. and Mrs. Olsen.
I'm grandma.
I hear all about you--
how amazing you are.
Well, I don't think
I'm that amazing.
People are nice
though to say that.
I hear you are.
How long will you be here?
I'll Probably be
here for a few months.
That's good.
I'll be hanging around.
It's good to be
around the family.
I've been away for far too long.
So being around the
family feels really nice.
It's good.
It's good.
It's good you're going to stay.
Yeah, I'm excited to stay.
There was this
boy whose parents made
him come directly home
right after school,
and when they went
to their church,
they shook and lurched
all over the church floor.
While Dylan was in Utah,
he took me to some of
his memorable places.
Ever since I was a
kid, I've always been so
attracted to the ascetic life--
the guy who lives out of a
backpack and just travels.
This is a little place
we used to hang out.
I ran away from home one
time and stayed here for--
I don't know-- a
good couple of days.
Utah-- this is a place
of geographical wonder--
the high elevation
mountain lakes--
the deserts-- the red rock--
the mountains--
the marsh lands--
the lakes-- everywhere.
This is where I grew up.
This is where I got to explore,
and learn how to be a woodsman,
and learn how to learn
how to swim and fish
and explore exploring itself.
Sadly, this place is very
conservative and very
predominantly populated
by people who want to worship
their Lord and Savior Jesus.
Somebody like me with
tattoos, an open mind, and--
you get shunned out.
You can't get a job.
You're judged.
You're scrutinized thoroughly.
If you smoke cigarettes,
heaven forbid.
If you drink a
beer, heaven forbid.
I love to come here
to visit, but trying
to become part of the inner
social structure of this state
is a bit more of a
challenge than other places.
A man from the past
living in the present.
So his presence is
living in the future.
He only sought the things
that the whole world forgot.
I am he.
He is me.
If you only knew
he is another you.
That night, Dylan
asked me to show his
family the footage I filmed
on the streets in Florida.
Dylan was excited to see it.
Oh I remember this dude.
This cat was weird.
I forgot about him.
That was the bagel
store right there.
I love this man.
Good dude.
But gradually I
noticed that not everyone
was comfortable seeing
Dylan as a homeless person.
Ahh, shit.
He's so awesome!
Oh, fucking asshole.
Son of a bitch.
After the screening,
Ashton told Dylan not to
curse in front of him,
which made Dylan very upset.
You're a pain in the ass.
You realize that?
I just wish that he could
see my side of the world
a little bit better.
If one day he wakes
up and he is like,
wow, the Mormon religion
is fucking bullshit
and my entire fucking
life philosophy is gone.
Just like what happened
to me-- if one day he
realizes that's gone,
what the fuck would he do?
of sleeping in his parents'
house, Dylan went to do
drugs with his friends
on the mountain.
Dylan left Utah soon
after the wedding.
It was then I remembered
something that John told
me the first time I met him.
He had had
some psychological problems
that we tried to deal with.
He gets his medications.
Then he'll go out
and sell it for $300.
I ignored
what he told me back then.
I dismissed it as
an overreaction
to Dylan's non-conformity.
But I realized my own
bias kept me from hearing
what John tried to tell me.
Part of his mental
issues was severe paranoia.
He starts to tell me that
there's people after him.
And he starts naming names.
And I know these.
I knew one of the people was
here and couldn't possibly
have even known where he was.
So I tried to
convince him that he
was just having hallucinations.
How did you know
it wasn't from the drug use?
Because I've known
a lot of drug addicts
in the course of my career and
people who were blitzed on you
name it.
And that's not a typical
reaction to the drugs.
I know that the drugs
compounded the issue.
I wonder
when Dylan first
had that kind of experience and
then whether he had told you.
It really didn't
come on strong
until he was 17, 18 years old.
He's always been open and
honest with me about bad things
going on in his life.
But I can't guarantee that he
wasn't hiding something that
was bothering him
or that he would
even know that this isn't real
and this isn't the way it is.
I mean, he could have been
experiencing things to this day
that he thinks were real
that didn't actually happen.
Every time
I close my eyes,
I'm mesmerized by
some kind of dream.
Places I've never
seen before, but I
feel like I've seen before.
The first time that I
heard them so vividly,
I just thought I was possessed.
I'd look at somebody,
and I swear,
I could hear what
they were thinking.
And then I'd look
at somebody else,
and I would hear what
they were thinking.
And I was just afraid.
I don't even remember
what happened after that.
I don't even know how I got.
Yeah, I really can't even
remember what happened.
I went blank for like a week.
I could put it on the inside
so it would be hidden.
- Which?
- See how it's got this--
Oh, cool.
All right, go in
the shade somewhere?
Here is the thing
that I kept wondering
and I couldn't
understand, because we
spent almost a month together.
And I did not notice
anything, whether you behaved
differently, whether
you were nervous,
or panicked, or anything--
was it just that time period--
just nothing happened?
You didn't hear voices.
You didn't see illusions?
No, I just didn't let it show.
Yeah, I just hide a lot of it.
How could you
hide it if that's so strong?
Alcohol helps.
But I mean, for instance,
there was that one time we
were eating the
dinner in South Beach,
sitting next to that family.
And some guy gave me a weird
look-- some like gang banger
looking guy.
He looked at me-- what's up?
And it just-- immediately,
I got this panic going on.
I remember the
first thing I did is
I went and bought some alcohol.
And I got-- we got on that bus.
We were drinking the vodka,
and I was all happy on the bus
after that.
I had been with
Dylan that whole night filming
everything, but I missed this--
this entire narrative that
was running in his head.
I went back to
look at my footage
and finally noticed how much
Dylan had been drinking.
It was constant.
Are you drunk?
He told me that the voices
had always been there.
It's a sensation
that I'm going
to deal with my whole
life, and I'm just--
I'm basically in the, I don't
know, kindergarten stage
of trying to understand these--
this phenomenon going on in
my psyche, in my spirituality.
trying to understand.
It's-- it's--
yeah, you can't--
it's something really
difficult to explain,
and that's why there's such
little compassion towards it.
- I
- asked Dylan if he remembered
any of the voices he heard.
He said he had
written them down.
And these are
true things that I've
actually heard in the past.
"Look at him.
He's so foolish.
Watch how he's doing it.
Yep, he hears us.
That idiot.
You're always going to be
someone's bitch, Dylan.
This is Project Craft Unit 278.
Your grandpa is dying right now.
Listen to him suffering in
the hospital and the old man
moaning sound and groaning.
He has lasted longer than
most San Diego."
When I
was a child in China,
people in my village used
to say that mental illness
was contagious.
When I grew up, the media
said that people who protested
against the government
had mental illness,
and I had seen how
dissidents were
locked in mental hospitals.
When John first told me
that Dylan was mentally ill,
I was in denial.
But now hearing Dylan
describing his mental trauma,
I started to question my
own perception of reality.
How do you know what
things in your life
are real and are not real?
I can just feel it.
I have physical
sensations in my body,
and I've had enough
experiences where I know it's
not real and thought it was.
I know when it's not real.
I can feel it.
Have you caught anything?
I brought you some fish.
Are you serious?
My relationship
with Dylan
is like boyfriend-girlfriend,
I would say.
He finds so much
beauty on the street.
It's so special that I get
to see through his eyes
directly how it is.
So we love each other a lot.
But we live a lifestyle
that constantly changes,
or we like when it changes.
And we love loving people.
After experiencing this, I feel
like I won't be able to like
live a normal life ever again.
I don't see Dylan
as mentally ill.
We think very imaginatively.
I think that's why
we get along so well.
Maybe he's mentally ill
because he doesn't want
to be part of the status quo.
But that's not mentally ill.
It's just a different opinion.
Over the next few days,
I met some of Dylan's
homeless friends.
What's going on, bro?
How you doing, my man?
Many of
them shared Dylan's experience.
How long have you been living
this kind of lifestyle?
On and off for a lot of years.
I have OCD.
It makes it difficult to--
I mean, I can do
education, but as far
as balancing the things of
the workforce and life place--
I am incapable of doing that.
So this the last all I can do.
I had some
experiences with voices.
I had little tricksters.
They would either
laugh at me, tell me
good things, bad things, and
then there was tricksters.
And you'd hear them
giggling, and I'd
be like taking a shower.
Shut off the water and you
know, and save water, you know?
I'm like, oh.
And then they're
like, look how stupid she is?
She just turned off the water.
- I know.
It goes on, and
on, and on, and on.
Then finally, you put
yourself in a corner,
and cover your head,
and start crying--
bawling your eyes out like
what did I do wrong this time?
My confidence, you know,
like it went to crap.
If you tell any
doctor that you hear things
and see things that other
people can't, then that's
schizo affective.
That's just what
they're going to say.
So some people are very
afraid of that word.
I don't even like to use
that word schizophrenia just
for that reason.
I'm sensitive to other
energies and forces
in this world that are real.
I'm not mentally ill.
I'm really just experiencing
stuff that's in the ether
that most people can't see.
It was difficult for me
to imagine their states of mind.
I wanted to understand
Dylan's mind better.
So I asked him if
he could visualize
some of his experiences for me.
Dylan came up with the
idea to recreate moments
of mental trauma from his past.
He invited his homeless friends
to create the re-enactments.
So if everyone can
just find a random book,
take a book, and, uh,
just use your intuition.
Somebody will sit there
chair close to me,
and they'll just start reading
aloud just, you know, quietly.
And I get confused
and distracted.
And then it will just go
around in a circle like that.
We've got
one question, man.
What is the
name of the movie?
"I'm Another You."
"I'm Another You."
That described
schizophrenia pretty well.
Yeah, well, I mean, you know,
I'm grateful that all of you
are here for this,
because you know,
I hate to use the word
schizophrenic, or bipolar,
or anything like that,
because we're really
just empathic, sensitive
people that don't
fit into this whole machine.
We're really-- we're
really emotional.
And we see things
other people can't see.
And it's important.
So I'm glad you guys are here.
Right on, brother.
"The homeless are
close to the streets,
to the pavement, curbs, and
the gutters, the concrete,
the litter, the sewer, the
sewer lids, the fire hydrants,
and wastebaskets, and bus stops,
and the store fronts and move
slowly over familiar
terrain, day after day,
stopping to talk to each other,
because time means little.
Stopping to watch a stalled
car under hats and caps.
A new drug deal behind
drugstore sunshades,
a strange face-- like
sentries, they observe."
"The sexual
"Look at that.
They had him hogtied,
raped him, and then
put a knife to his chest."
openly expressing the most
sensitive things about me.
If some people understood
me, which I know they would,
I would appreciate that.
This isn't about me.
Most people with these kind
of-- with a mind like mine,
they don't have skills
to explain or illustrate
what's going on actually.
You asked me if I was
homeless by choice.
And I would have said
yes initially but--
because I did make the
choice to be homeless.
But thinking about
it on a deeper level,
it is definitely not a choice.
How am I supposed
to keep a job when
I have these social paranoias
and these hallucinations?
How can I call in sick
maybe once or twice a week?
It's-- it's really not feasible.
By their standards,
I'm mentally disabled.
I came
to Florida to find
out whether Dylan was mentally
ill and what his reality was.
But after understanding
the complexities
of his mental health,
addiction, and homelessness,
the question had
become less important.
How do you spell your name?
I had seen how the mind can
build prisons for itself.
I had seen, through
people's treatment of Dylan,
how they were limited
by their perception.
You see, you and I, like we
don't differ all that much.
I'm just fascinated.
So what made you like--
did someone else do
this that you decided to do it?
I like him, you know?
He's a funny cat, man,
you know, he's young.
He's finding himself.
I see Dylan's face in every
homeless person that I see.
I came to the US in 2011.
I followed Dylan hoping
to find something I've
been searching for all my life.
Along the way I've learned
what I've been searching
for exists only in the mind.
else is there besides this?
Endless kisses from
Mrs. Bliss herself,
escaping the clasp of the
second-hand's ticking task,
kicking back the flask
to bask with no mask.
Wherever he goes, he
leaves an echo to show.
From the pitter patter of his
feet to the magic incantation
he speaks, a man from the
past living in the present.
So his presence is
living in the future.
Yesterday and tomorrow, last
week was seven years long.
The only thought in his mind
was the singing bird's song.
He only sought the things
that the whole world forgot.
I am he.
He is me.
If you only knew,
he is another you."