Tell Me Who I Am (2019) Movie Script

[eerie piano music playing]
[footsteps echoing]
[man] I don't know who I am.
Not just a story of who I am,
but who I really am.
The real... me.
[chair dragging]
[breathes deeply]
I've been silent for 20 years.
Twenty years!
Of hiding.
I should have stood by him,
I should have helped him.
We should have done everything together,
as twins.
We're identical twins. Bonded.
And this thing was so strong
that it broke us off.
It broke us apart.
[breathes deeply]
[man 2] The secrets I need answers to
are in Marcus's head.
But they're deep in his head.
So it would almost seem
in terms of whatever we're gonna find
when we open the box.
It's Pandora's box.
You either open it or you don't.
But... [exhales]
will it help me? It's a chance.
It's a chance I'm prepared to take.
[engines revving]
-[glass shatters]
-[tire squealing]
[loud bang, motorcycle screeches]
[music fades out]
[hospital machine high pitched ringing]
[heart rate whooshing]
[man 2] I-- I woke up.
I remember opening my eyes
and looking around the room,
trying to take in where I am.
I then turned my attention
to my twin brother,
who I instantly recognized.
[Marcus's muffled voice] Alex, it's me!
[Alex] He was sitting on the bed
next to me...
[Marcus] It's okay.
[Alex] ...and I just said,
"Hello, Marcus."
I guess the major thing about being a twin
is that you're never alone.
And it's a massive thing to have.
So whatever happens to you in your life,
you've always got your other half there.
[Alex] Even though
I wasn't sure
of what was going on around me,
I knew 100% that he was my brother
and I could trust him.
I then turned my attention to a lady
much closer to the bed
than everybody else...
and she was getting quite hysterical
at the fact that I had woken up.
"Hello, hello, Ali, you're awake.
You're awake. How are you?
It's me, it's me."
And I'm thinking,
"I don't know how I am.
And I don't know who you are."
"You remember me. You remember me.
Don't you remember me?
You must remember me,
you must remember me!"
-And kept repeating and repeating this.
-[high pitched ringing]
I said to Marcus, "Who is she?"
And he just said...
"She is our mother."
And Marcus said to me,
"Do you really not know
that that is our mother?"
And I said, "No."
And then he said to me,
"Well, do you know who you are?
And what's your name?"
And it started to dawn on me
that I really didn't know anything.
-[blades whirring]
-I didn't know where I was.
Where do I live.
I didn't know what happened to me.
I didn't even know my own name.
[heart rate beep speeding up]
Everything had gone.
[high pitched ringing]
[ringing fades out]
[eerie music playing]
[Marcus] Imagine a black empty space.
You've lost everything in your life...
and you start from a blank canvas.
Imagine how scary that would be.
The doctor explained that he had
been wearing a helmet that had come off
and, therefore, when he hit the ground,
he hit the ground with his head
and not with his helmet.
And that had induced him
to go into a coma.
And they weren't sure
what kind of brain damage
that would leave him with.
[car engine running]
[Alex] My mother came to pick me up.
She said, probably three or four times
before we even got in the car,
"You do remember who I am, don't you?"
And I'm like, "No, I don't."
[soft piano music playing]
I said, "Where are we going?"
She said, "We're going home.
I'm taking you home, back to our home."
So I'm sitting in a car
with a total stranger,
driving somewhere.
I've no idea where I'm going.
I'm being told, "This is your house.
This is where you live."
[tires moving over gravel]
It's got a gravel drive.
It's quite a large gravel drive.
It's quite a big house,
which looked quite daunting to me.
[Marcus] He was in a haze.
He didn't know where he was.
He didn't know anything.
Even though he was 18,
he had the mental age
of a... [inhales] nine-year-old.
I remember walking through the kitchen
and explaining, "This is the kitchen,"
and then the bathroom
and then taking him into the...
into his bedroom.
"This is your bed on the left,
and my bed's on the right."
[Alex] I'm just being told
that "This is your house.
This is your mother."
I don't know that.
My head was just blank.
I mean, for everybody else,
they're going to remember
being on holidays,
they're going to remember
falling off their bike for the first time,
their first kiss,
the first time they were in love.
Those are the things
that really make up who you are.
And you actually need those memories.
I'm coming at this with nothing.
-[loud bang]
-[silverware rattling]
[dog moans]
[Alex] It was quite apparent...
...that my parents didn't know
how to deal with me.
My father, I didn't-- He was so distant.
He didn't hug me or anything like that.
He just shook my hand
and said he was my father.
He never came to the hospital.
He never-- He never came.
My mother didn't want to believe
I had lost my memory.
It was... just, for her, unthinkable.
For a son not to know
who their mother was.
And she didn't want to believe it.
[Marcus] Can you imagine,
your son wakes up
and he's no idea who you are.
[deep breath]
Any mother would be deeply distressed.
It really hurt her a lot.
[Alex] So I'm totally on my own,
in that house with no support
apart from my brother.
He gets it. He understands.
I don't have to explain anything to him.
He doesn't make it difficult for me.
He gives me everything I need.
If he hadn't known who I was,
and he hadn't known his twin,
then he would have been all alone
in the world for the rest of his life.
But he wasn't alone in the world.
He had me.
-[lively piano music playing]
-[door hinge squeaks]
[Alex] There was so much to learn.
So very quickly he gave me
the basic information,
the everyday, "This is kitchen.
This is TV. This is a table."
[Marcus] I had to show him
where all his clothes are,
how to put his shoes on,
tie his shoelaces up, make toast.
He just kept giving me stuff.
And I just went along with everything.
[water running from faucet]
When he said he didn't know something,
I just told him what it was.
Then starting to get
into more difficult things
like, "Wow, what is that thing?"
The first few minutes was a bit strange,
and then I realized
I could actually do that.
That I could ride a bike.
That was something that he was actually
quite good at, I seem to remember.
But he didn't know
where he was going, of course.
So we would go out of the house
and then everything was a blank.
-[clatter and bang]
[Alex] The world seemed very scary.
But with him...
everything was a little bit easier.
[music from TV]
[cartoon from TV] Ladies and gentlemen!
[Alex] TV was an eye-opener for me.
All the shows were new,
even down to Tom and Jerry.
[Tom and Jerry theme playing on TV]
In one way, I'm trying to learn
as much information as possible.
And in the second way,
I'm trying to work my family out
and the dynamics that are going on.
And there'd be like a perfect Sunday lunch
with everybody sitting around the table
for Oxo Cube, and it looked nice.
And I just imagined
that must just be how all families are
'cause I saw it on the telly.
[uplifting instrumental music playing]
I soon realized that Mommy
was at the center of my new world.
She was quite a tall woman.
She was over six foot,
and she had quite large hands
and very large feet.
Overly large feet.
She was great fun.
She'd just sort of dance
around the kitchen.
She would come in a room and say,
"And here we all are.
I'm here, everybody, I'm here."
She'd be, [impersonates Mom]
"Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha."
She'd be laughing like that.
Louder than loud, really.
[dog moans]
[Alex] Mom inherited
a bunch of Chihuahuas.
And she used to dress them up.
They'd have their own clothes,
little hats,
little coats,
and, um... that was her world.
Before the accident,
we both hated these dogs.
-We used to call them rats on legs.
-[dog moaning]
But Alex, when he came home,
he rather liked the Chihuahuas.
I quite liked them,
'cause I thought they were quite sweet,
I'd never seen one before,
whereas nobody else
had any interest in the dogs at all.
I still can't stand them.
Horrible little things.
[music fades out]
So I've grown up incredibly quickly
in the space of a month,
from probably a six-year-old
to sort of a... to a early teenager,
sort of 14, 15 already, in such speed
that now I need to move to another level.
And that's when I start asking Marcus
more personal questions.
Who, who am I really?
So I started to ask Marcus
about our childhood.
He would say, you know,
"What family holidays did we go on?"
And I'd say, "Oh, you know,
we would go to France
-on a beach holiday."
"Oh, right, was that nice?"
"Oh, yeah, it was great, you know.
We used to go to the beach,
we'd have an ice cream.
You always liked to have a chocolate flake
in your ice cream."
"Oh, right, that's nice."
[soft piano music playing]
[Alex] Marcus showed me a photograph
of the two of us on holiday,
and it looked nice. And we were, you know,
typical boys building
sand castles on a beach.
So I just presumed
that's what we did every year.
He showed me photographs.
And I joined the dots.
[waves crashing on the beach]
[Alex] He would give me a photo...
and I would construct a memory around that
of two happy boys on a beach.
[Marcus] What I was doing was actually
reimplanting his memory
and giving him... [inhales]
his childhood back
and answering questions from
the very beginning of when he was a baby
up to 18.
[Alex] When you've got no memory,
and you get little bits of information,
then just some information
about a single holiday
meant an enormous amount to me
'cause that's all I had.
So these tiny little fragments
became the building blocks
for my new sense of self.
-And life seemed good.
-[kids talking and shouting]
The life that Marcus showed me
that I had and painted for me
was that we were a fairly
privileged family in the home counties
with perfectly normal parents.
You know, dinner parties around the house
and everything looked good.
He painted an idyllic picture.
[kids shrieking]
[music fades out]
[clock ticking]
[Marcus] Learning the rules of the house
was more complicated.
We weren't allowed to go upstairs.
We didn't eat with our parents.
We weren't allowed a front door key.
And, from the age of...
[huffs] I think... 14,
we lived out in the shed in the garden.
In a funny sort of way
we quite liked living in the shed
because it was our domain.
Yeah, it was-- it was, um...
it was a confusing house for me.
[clock striking the hour]
There was just ornaments everywhere.
Every cupboard was full,
every outhouse was full,
every loft was full,
every garage was full.
And there were sections of the house
that you weren't allowed to be in,
and you didn't enter without permission.
Especially my father's side.
[ominous instrumental music playing]
You wouldn't enter his study
unless you were summoned.
[clock ticking]
He was quite a scary guy,
and he had a hell of a temper on him.
He would shout very loudly, and bang!
He would just thump the table
on the dining room... I remember
particularly on the dining room table.
There was a really long,
huge dining room table, you know,
in the center of the house,
and he would whack that.
And then he would just dismiss you.
Marcus just instructed me,
"Don't get involved.
Just let him do his thing.
And be polite.
Always be polite and call him sir."
[Marcus] I do remember him kept asking me
why did we have to do that.
And I just said, "Because that's...
That's what you do in a family."
[lively music playing]
[Alex] My brother, at some point,
informed me that our parents
came from an aristocratic background.
-[indistinct chatter]
-[loud chewing]
-[cork popping]
It was perfectly normal
for our house to be filled with
-sirs, duchesses, lords, ladies.
-[woman cheers and laughs]
And that's how we lived.
[crowd cheering and laughing]
I never thought, "This is odd,"
'cause everything was normal for me.
[party crowd singing]
La, la, la, la, la, la
It was perfectly normal
to have parents like we did.
It was perfectly normal to live in a shed.
So I was never questioning anything.
Because what is normal, really?
Normal is what you know.
And normal is what your family is.
[people singing and whooping]
[tires moving over gravel]
[Alex] I had my story.
I grabbed that from my brother.
And I took it as my own,
and I took that out
into the world with me.
-[indistinct chatter]
-["Relax" by Duran Duran playing]
-[woman yells] Party! Yeah!
[Alex] After a few months, Marcus decided
it was time to meet all my friends.
[indistinct greetings]
So we go to the pub.
That was another huge step.
Relax, don't do it
When you wanna go to it
When you're a teenager,
you don't want to be different
to everybody else.
You don't want to stick out,
you just want to be the same.
But everybody knows you
and you don't know them. [inhales]
And that is quite...
quite daunting really.
[crowd laughing]
I got overwhelmed.
[music fades out]
People say, "Oh, yeah, it can't be
that bad to lose your memory."
But it is.
I have nothing to latch onto.
I've got no... no anchors
to give me any peace of mind
apart from Marcus.
So, me and Marcus together
built up a system
where I could meet people
without them ever realizing
that I didn't have a clue who they were.
[fun instrumental music playing]
[Marcus] We would go
to a friend's house for dinner.
We would stand outside the door
and he'd say, "Right, okay, remind me."
[stuttering] Give me the names again.
What do they look like?
Just give me the quick little outline,
so a tiny little synopsis of each person.
This is Dave, this is John, this is Chris.
And then they'd open the door,
"Oh, hi. Really nice to see you."
And people never knew.
[Marcus] And everybody would think,
"Ah, Alex is fine, look.
He knows everybody here.
He knows what's going on."
But none of that was true.
I'd just given him
a ten-minute lesson outside.
But then he said,
"Oh, yes, and you have a girlfriend."
I thought,
"Oh, I've got a girlfriend, have I?"
She, um... she was very nice.
And she didn't really notice
that I had no idea
[laughing] who she was.
Our sort of standing joke
is that I lost my virginity
to the same woman twice.
[Marcus] He became absolutely
fascinated by photographs,
because he became totally paranoid
that he would lose his new memory.
I just took pictures of people having fun.
I took pictures of the parties we went to,
the people we met, the places we went.
I wanted to capture every single moment
of every month, of every year
for the rest of my life.
[music fades out]
[Alex] All of us, we take photos
of happy times
excluding everything else.
We all do that.
We take photos of weddings.
You never take photos at funerals.
[clock ticking]
[Marcus] Dad was dying,
and he had cancer.
And I remember he called us
into his study,
and he started to apologize for his
behavior and the things that he'd done.
[Alex] He said would we forgive him
before he died?
So I said, "Yes."
Alex would have said anything.
I mean he was just such a nice boy,
and he had such a nice way about him.
[Alex] And then Marcus stood there
and said,
"No, I will not forgive you."
And turned around
and walked out of the room.
I remember walking
out of the room with him
and I-- I said,
[stutters] "Why did you do that?
Why would you say no to a dying man,
his last wish?
He's about to go.
Give him the forgiveness."
He said, "No, I won't. What for?"
I said, "Because he asked us.
He asked us to forgive him.
Why could you not do that?"
He said, "No". He said,
"It's complicated. I don't want to."
[heavy rain pattering]
[Alex] And then, a few days later,
he was gone.
Once Dad had died,
I thought things in the house
would change,
because he was the bully,
he made the rules up.
So, when I got into my twenties,
I thought we can have access to our house,
we could have keys to our house,
we can go in and eat food whenever
we want. Turn up whenever we want.
All those rules have gone
out of the window. He's gone now.
[melancholic music playing]
It was very quickly apparent
that the rules hadn't changed.
They became even more stringent.
Mom still didn't want us to have a key.
But I asked Marcus about it,
and he just told me not to worry.
So I didn't.
And I jump five years later,
and there she was, lying at the bottom
of the stairs, unconscious.
[Marcus] She's got a brain tumor
in her head
that was fatal.
[Alex] I found the whole thing
very upsetting.
I did grow to love my mother.
And, you know,
and become very close to her.
She said that she would miss us,
and, um... and that she loved us.
And it was at that moment...
she slipped away.
I just cried
for quite some time.
But Marcus didn't.
No emotion at all.
[Marcus] I felt...
I didn't feel any guilt
for feeling nothing,
I didn't feel sad. I didn't feel...
relieved. I just felt nothing.
[Alex] I know my brother inside out.
We are twins. We know
everything about each other,
yet he has handled this situation
in a completely different way to me.
And it bothered me a lot.
After the funeral,
we went back to Duke's Cottage
and walked back into our house
with our key.
And we started clearing up
this vast house and its outbuildings,
-which were full of stuff.
-[door opens]
[eerie music playing]
We started with the downstairs,
throwing things away,
and every now and again
you would find a jam jar
full of 50-pound notes.
And then some
tied into the back of a curtain.
And I'm starting to think,
That's a bit strange.
And we're going into bathrooms.
One bathroom in particular
there was this huge wardrobe
full of sex toys.
Marcus and I looked in it.
I was really, really shocked.
But he didn't really show much emotion,
just kept reassuring me,
"Never mind about that,
put it to one side. Let's get on."
[door opens]
And when we got into the attic,
there was our childhood.
All our school books,
all our baby clothes.
And then boxes and boxes of presents
that have been given to us
for every Christmas and every birthday
from our godfathers, aunts, uncles.
We spent every birthday and Christmas
with no presents from anybody.
She kept every single one.
It made my mother much more complicated.
Who was this lady?
What do I not know about her?
And we started clearing Mommy's room.
[sliding door opening]
We were in the back of a cupboard,
and you get through all these
tons and tons of coats and clothes,
and at the back you find a secret door
to a cupboard within a cupboard.
Of course, it's locked.
So we have to find a key.
And inside there is a photograph
of me and Marcus,
aged around ten, and we're naked
with our heads cut off.
[tearfully] It was too weird.
It was just too, too strange.
What the hell was she doing
with a naked picture of me and Marcus
with our heads cut off?
I just didn't know what to do.
-didn't know what to do. [sighs]
-[music fades out]
[fire crackling]
[breathes deeply]
[sobbing] Fucking mad.
I'm too fucking mad.
[sighs] Jesus.
[gulps] Can I have a cup of tea?
[melancholic music playing]
[tires moving over gravel]
[Marcus] I, from day one,
started to create
a different life for Alex
than we actually had.
I painted a picture of a normal family.
We lived in a nice house.
Our parents were nice, decent people.
But none of that was true.
It was a fantasy
that I was creating for him.
And the longer it went on,
the bigger the fantasy.
[motorcycle screeching]
[music fades out]
When Alex came back from the hospital,
he didn't know who his mother was.
He didn't know his house.
He didn't know his bedroom.
Didn't know his girlfriend.
He didn't know he was in England.
He didn't know... anything.
But he knew... [loud muffled click] me.
He knew who I was.
If you've only got one fact in your mind,
one thing that you know 100%,
one thing that is yours,
of your own, not something
that anybody's given you,
you then build
everything around that fact.
He had to trust me because
he didn't have anybody else to trust.
Without me, he had nothing.
So I started off,
when he got home, with the basics.
Who are your parents,
where's your room, where's your stuff.
And we did it on that basis.
It was just one fact after the next fact.
And it wasn't until I'd been doing it
for about six months that I realized
that I had some control over
what he knew and what he didn't know.
Because everything that I told him
he accepted and he believed.
So, for instance, he would ask
what family holidays we'd go on.
The truth was
we didn't go on family holidays.
And if we went on a holiday,
we'd go with other people's families.
We'd never go with our parents.
But I didn't want to give him that,
because that was depressing
and sad and not very normal.
So instead of saying,
"Oh, we didn't go on family holidays
because our parents were shit."
I said, "Yeah, we'd go
on family holidays all the time."
Here's a picture of one
of the family holidays in France.
My Dad spoke French.
It seemed like a natural fit.
"Ah, right, that's nice."
And I did manage to find
a picture of us on the beach.
And that seemed to satisfy him.
He didn't say, "Did we go with Mom?"
"Did we go with Dad?"
"Did we all go as a family?
He didn't ask any of those questions,
and I didn't give him the detail.
I'd give him a photo.
His imagination did the rest.
I gave him a photo album
of happy memories,
happy times.
With none of the shit.
I tried to not make anything up.
I just left stuff out.
If he'd started
challenging me on everything,
the whole thing would've broken down,
and he would've worked out very early on
what was really going on here.
But you've got to remember,
he'd lost all memory.
So I wasn't being challenged
at any point about anything.
So If I said he went on a family holiday,
we went on a family holiday.
Period. He didn't ask again.
And I did that all the way up
until he was 32 years old.
[music fades out]
He had total blind faith
in everything that I told him.
[Alex] That's the key to this whole thing...
is the word trust.
I had no reason not to trust him
or question him.
So that's how-- how this--
A lot of people think, just cannot believe
that this is even possible.
But if you have blinding trust,
it is possible.
I had no reason to doubt him, did I?
[Marcus] To start with,
it was quite simple
because I had all the answers.
But, as time goes by,
the questions get more complicated,
the questions get more directed,
and then you have to start remembering
what he haven't told him,
remembering what you have told him.
So then it became
a conscious choice to actually...
[suspenseful music playing]
So he would ask,
"Is our mother a good mother?"
And I'd say, "Yeah, our mother's cool."
And that would be the end of the question.
You would say to me,
"Well, that's not an acceptable answer.
What am I supposed to do with,
'Our mother's cool.'
I want more. What was she like?
How did she look after us?
Does she love us? [inhales]
You know, has she been a good mother?"
But he wasn't asking
any questions like that.
He just wanted to know,
"Is my mother cool?" "Yes, she is."
Great. Pop that in the memory bank.
Move on.
[Alex] It's amazing I never noticed
that the stories didn't line up.
I cannot believe I never
stopped to say to him,
"That doesn't all fit together."
Right in my entire twenties
I never questioned it.
[soughing wind]
[Marcus] Once I'd stepped into that realm,
of not telling him the truth...
I couldn't get out of it.
And it then just snowballed
to a point I had to stick
with what I'd told him.
[music fades out]
Because otherwise I had
to admit to him that I'd made
a life up that didn't exist.
[rain pattering]
Lying to my brother has a toll on you.
And it alters the way
that you feel about yourself.
I was lying to my best friend,
my partner, my other half,
every single day.
And the guilt in doing that is so big.
But telling him the truth was
a thousand times worse
than telling him a lie.
So I was damned if I did,
and I was damned if I didn't.
[tires moving over gravel]
So I had to choose between the two.
And so I chose, in the end,
to never tell him the truth
of what happened in his childhood.
[Marcus] We all like to think that
we'd know who a pedophile is
when they walk in a room,
because they've got a big label on them.
But in reality, it's just not like that.
My mother sexually abused us
up to the age of about 12 or 14.
[tearfully] And why would you want
to give that?
I mean, what's that?
I mean that's something...
[normal voice] if I just told you today
that that happened in your childhood,
you knew nothing about it,
it would fuck the rest of your life up.
Why would you feel that it's necessary
to give an emotionally
disturbed 18-year-old
information that he can't handle
and is not necessary for him to know?
And if it was the other round,
I would expect him...
I'd expect him to do the same.
I would want him to do the same.
I'd be angry if he hadn't done it.
And I do feel
very passionately about that.
[inhales deeply]
There are people that say,
"The truth is the truth,
and you should've told him.
And he would have to go to therapy,
and he'd have to deal with all
of those things for the rest of his life.
And it wasn't up to you to play God.
And it wasn't up to you
to-- to take away those things."
[tearfully] But for me, [sniffles]
the way I feel,
I have it... and it's a shit feeling.
[normal voice]
He doesn't have that feeling.
He doesn't know
what it feels like to feel like that.
I gave him a present
of not knowing any of that.
And so, for me, that has to be a gift.
It has to be something precious
that any human being would give
to another one that they love.
[tearfully] Anybody would do that.
[sighs, gulps]
[melancholic music playing]
I had been living this life for Alex
for so many years,
doing all of the things
that I was meant to do
that fitted the narrative
that I'd been giving him.
It would be her birthday, and we'd arrive
at the house, and we'd all hug and kiss.
I mean, I just don't know
what she was thinking.
"Look, I've fucked these boys' lives up,
and here they are
singing Happy Birthday to me."
We'd make a cake,
and we'd all make a fuss, and we'd sing,
and we'd do all of the things
that you were meant to do in a family.
Alex was doing
what it said in the story books.
He was doing what it said in the movies.
"Go and give your Mom a kiss.
Go and give this lady a kiss."
And I watched from the sidelines.
The pain and anguish
that was going on inside me was explosive!
And the power
of just wanting it to go away
is so intense and so strong
that I began to believe
the reality that I was creating.
I needed to feel that actually
it had never happened to me.
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 that she'd done to me.
[tearfully] And all this hurt
that she caused me.
[sniffles] And all the shame.
You feel ashamed.
You feel dirty.
You feel used.
And all that was gone.
I then suddenly had a nice childhood.
I then suddenly had nice parents.
I then wasn't abused.
All of these things
never happened to me either.
So I was helping him
not to have that childhood,
and I was helping myself at the same time.
And it was magical.
If I close my eyes
and really concentrated,
of course it would all come back.
But on the surface, on a daily level,
I lived in the same circle as him.
So it was a circle of convenience for me,
and it was a necessary...
evil lie...
whatever you wanna call it for him.
Once my mother had died,
once we had got her in the ground
and she was gone,
then it was as if
the whole saga was finished.
[fire crackling]
When Alex found the photo,
he was experiencing confusion.
When I found the photo, I was experiencing
the horror of what had happened to me.
It can't be anything else.
It can't be an accident.
She couldn't have slipped with
the scissors and chopped the heads off.
It was something macabre and disturbing
that needed to be
put back in a jar instantly,
or risk falling into the abyss.
[Alex] That photo changed it for me.
I just walked straight into the kitchen.
Marcus is standing there,
and I said to him,
"Were we sexually abused or not?"
And he turned around, and he went white.
He didn't know what to do. He turned
around, he had a cup of tea in his hand,
and it dropped out
of his hand onto the floor.
In that split second,
the whole circle evaporated instantly.
And I'll never forget it,
because I knew the game was up.
-[melancholic violin music playing]
-And he just looked at me,
he was silent.
He nodded. He just nodded a yes to me.
He didn't say anything, he just nodded.
And then he turned around,
put his back to me,
and walked into the garden.
I say, "Did Mommy abuse us or not?"
He said, "Yes, she did."
He just put his arm around me,
and he said,
"Yeah, it's true."
And we cried, both of us.
[exasperated sigh]
[exasperated sigh]
I just cried and cried. [sighs]
[tearfully] For days.
For days and days.
And... I just didn't know what to do.
didn't know what to do.
I just kept saying, "No, it can't be
Mommy. You've got it wrong."
Our mother couldn't be a pedophile.
She's not that kind of woman.
She had her eccentricities to her,
but she wasn't that.
[Marcus] To my knowledge,
my father never abused us.
And, as much as I hated him
because he was so horrible,
I don't believe he ever knew
that my mother was abusing us.
I would like to think he did,
and he should have done
something about it, but he didn't.
She had that amazing ability to...
almost hypnotize
people around her
and get them to do what she wanted to do.
Everybody thought
she was amazing and lovely,
when underneath she wasn't.
Underneath she was
a very complicated and...
cruel person.
[Alex] As hard as it was to accept
what Mommy had done,
it was much harder to accept
what Marcus had done.
That my own twin had actually lied to me.
-The one person that I absolutely...
-[Marcus sighs]
...trusted 100%
has now betrayed me.
I was angry with him.
Really angry with him
for the first time ever.
I was angry with him
that we knew everything about each other,
and we had no secrets.
We'd do everything together,
yet, behind all of that,
he still had a secret.
How could we have secrets?
We don't have secrets. We're twins.
We're identical twins. We're joined.
Secrets is not something that exists
and has no place in our relationship.
And yet, here it is.
[Marcus] I was almost free of it.
I genuinely got rid of it out of myself,
out of my head.
And Alex had just fucking taken it
from this place
that I'd worked so hard to put it
and just dumped it on the table.
In one second, just like that.
I challenged him on it,
and he just quite simply said
that he wasn't prepared to talk about it.
He said there was sexual abuse,
and that was it.
That was all he gave me.
He would come and ask me, I'd say nothing.
He'd come and ask me, I'd say nothing.
I'd gone into shutdown.
You know what, I've given you
the one piece of information,
I said yes.
That's all you need to know.
And we never spoke about any of it.
[Marcus] I couldn't cope.
I simply could not cope
with the pain, with the--
with the kind of anguish of-- [inhales]
I didn't have the tools to deal with it.
I just wanted to run away
and hide in a hole.
And that's what I did.
[thunder rumbling]
[heavy rain pattering]
[Alex] I was on my own.
Possibly on my own
for the first time in my entire life.
[melancholic music playing]
I had lost my twin.
My one link to my whole existence.
I was left with no details
of what my mom had done.
I was left with no details
about which part of my life was real
and which parts weren't.
[tires moving over gravel]
What made this so hard
was that I'd built my life
around what Marcus had given me.
So it wasn't that I'd just lost Marcus,
I had also just lost myself.
I've re-built my life
from the age of 18 with nothing.
I'm now 32, and I'm back
to where I was before, ground zero.
I'm back to nothing.
I'm starting again, for the second time.
If that's possible. And I've got
to restructure my entire life again!
So I started
trying to find out who my mother was,
what sort of person she was.
What was this secret life like?
[melancholic piano music playing]
And that was almost an obsession.
I started piecing things together.
I started finding newspaper clips
of my mother when she was a debutante.
And I started finding,
you know, any pieces of information.
Mixed in with the letters
that you would expect to see,
I found lots of passionate love letters.
Letters from people in the army, colonels,
quite prominent people.
Every single one of them
absolutely adored her.
I started to realize that her whole
life revolved around sex.
She had some sort of spell over them.
I did love my mother.
And she was part of my life.
And it was very, very difficult
to marry up the two moms.
The one I knew
and the one I found out about.
It's just...
bigger than I thought it was.
It sent me into an unbelievable spin.
-[cork popping]
-[people cheering]
What is real and what isn't real?
What if the whole damn lot...
[loud muffled boom] a made up story?
-Nothing makes sense.
-[high pitched ringing]
[motorcycle squeals, loud bang]
What else don't I know?
I got so down and so depressed
and so confused...
about who I was.
I even had suicidal thoughts.
I-- I couldn't, I just couldn't cope
with day-to-day life.
And it was very...
to deal with.
One of the big things that saves me
was meeting my wife.
I met someone who was prepared
not only to take me on,
but was prepared to take on
this extraordinary history
and help me through
my quest for the truth.
[melancholic music playing]
So we got married,
and we've had two children.
And Marcus also got married,
and he's got two children.
And we both got on with our lives.
[Marcus] I was determined
to not let this affect my life.
So I managed to put it away
into Pandora's box, shut the lid,
and get on with a very happy life.
I've had lots of fun.
I've had amazing relationships.
I've got an amazing wife.
I've done all these incredible things
in my life
without having to deal
with any of that stuff.
I just locked it away.
[Alex] I think what makes
this story even more strange
is the fact
that we do everything together.
For the last 20 years,
we've worked together,
we run our companies together,
we do everything together.
We even wrote a book
about our experience.
But Marcus just wouldn't open up.
He wouldn't go
where I needed him to go.
I had questions,
and I needed answers.
And he wasn't prepared to give them to me.
And still hasn't to this day.
[music fades out]
[Marcus] I've been silent
about the real details
of what happened for 20 years.
And I look back on it now,
it's appalling what I did.
I should have gone and given him a hug.
We should've sat down and talked about it,
"How we're gonna get through it?
Let's go for some therapy.
Let's do this together."
And I did the opposite.
[melancholic music playing]
I left him to hang out and dry,
all on his own.
[scoffs] I mean, I just can't believe
that I was capable of doing that...
to him.
And it's shameful, what I did.
And one day
he'll forgive me for that, but...
[breathes deeply]
It's too much.
Too much.
[breathing deeply]
[music fades out]
[eerie music playing]
[breathes deeply]
[Alex] I still don't know who I am.
[breathes deeply]
What I need my brother
to do now is talk...
so I can work out what is real
and what isn't real.
I need him to give me
the last piece of the jigsaw puzzle.
What really happened
back in that house
all those years ago.
Bit close to you.
[Alex chuckles]
-There you go.
-Yeah. Just a tad.
It does seem amazing
that we've done so much together.
We've gone through
so many different things,
but without ever actually sitting down
and saying,
"What was all that about then?"
I've always felt I never needed to.
I've always felt
that you trusted me enough...
and respected me enough
to not have to know all the details.
Yeah. I did accept each thing
as you said it along the way,
but sort of the more I learn,
as we've gone through the story,
the more extraordinary it was
how I didn't question anything you said.
And the...
cost to me,
personally, was enormous.
It was a much harder journey
for me to go through
than you ever imagined
or actually stopped to even work out.
And for me, your secrecy
is something
that I just have found very difficult
because we know everything together.
We're identical twins, we understand
things together, we're linked together.
Yet we have this
separation of silence
that I'm desperately trying
to ask questions,
and you're desperately trying
not to answer them.
And for me, I feel...
that once I've got it,
I can stop my journey.
Do you see what I mean?
I need to stop my journey.
I need to stop searching.
And you can finally be rid of it
at the same time, so we've both
got something to gain from this.
-Just as much as each other.
-I know we have.
You know.
And you've got to understand that
once you came to me
on that day that I'll never forget
and you asked
whether our mother abused us,
and I simply said, "Yes"
but nothing else...
I thought that was perfectly adequate
and you could get on
with your life with that.
But it wasn't. It wasn't for me.
That one moment...
cost me dearly.
Well, it cost me pretty hard, Alex,
because by giving that to you,
I then had to give it all back to myself,
which I'd spent
fucking years getting rid of.
Burying and burying and burying it.
Silence, silence, silence.
Yeah, but it allowed me
to have a free life,
as you were having a free life.
Free of child abuse.
When I took it away from you,
I took it away from me.
Do you not understand that?
I'd been silent for me.
For me.
[tearfully] If I gave it to you,
I had to give it to me.
And I have not been ready
to break the silence.
A silence is a lie.
I have been lying to myself
for 20 years that I was abused.
That is my defense mechanism.
It is a lie. Being silent is a lie.
And telling you what you wanted to know
is breaking the silence.
-Any of the information?
-Anything, Alex,
anything more than,
"Yes, my mother abused us."
I gave you the informa-- You asked me
a question, I told you the answer.
Everything else is off the table.
I couldn't cope with it anymore.
Don't you understand, Ali?
[tearfully] No, I didn't.
I didn't understand.
-That's why. That's why, Ali.
-I didn't understand it.
I couldn't do that.
I was too much of a coward.
Totally and utterly too much of a coward
to give you anything,
[normal voice] So I've spent 20 years
searching for it.
Driving myself mad.
Spending hours talking to people,
finding things, scraps of information.
-It ran, it totally ran my life.
-But why couldn't you let it go?
-Why couldn't you accept it?
-I c-- I couldn't.
I just could not let it go.
Do you understand why
I couldn't give it to you?
Yeah, I do. I do understand that.
So I was silently doing all my stuff,
trying to find it, and you were silently
trying not to give me anything.
-I had no choice, Ali.
-And so it went on and on and on.
I had no choice.
We're 54 years old.
Fifty-four years old, for fuck's sake.
Having this conversation now.
We should have had it when we were 20.
What a fucking waste of 30 years.
But we're here now.
Yeah, we are.
[inhales, exhales softly]
I don't think I've got the strength
to tell you to your face
what really happened.
But I have had
a conversation about it on camera
and maybe you should have a look at that.
And that will give you everything
that you need to know.
And you're happy for me to see that?
I'm not saying I'm happy. I'm feeling that
-I have a necessity.
-A necessity.
It's a necessity, Alex.
We've come to the end of the lie.
You look at it.
[tearfully] But I just can't do it
to your face, Ali.
I'm gonna go away and let you watch it.
And then we're done.
-Are you ready to do that?
Well, you're making me
very scared now, but...
I don't really understand
why you need to see it.
I still don't get it.
So we can be
fully connected again, Markie.
-I guess so.
-I need the lie to stop.
And I need my life to be real.
My life is not real.
My life is the one you gave me, Markie.
My life is what you wanted it to be.
My life has been dictated by you.
I need something. I need to own this.
-Okay. All right.
[breathes deeply]
I've never told a living soul...
about what happened.
I barely told myself what happened.
So you're asking me to give you something
that I've never given
to anybody in my life.
[breathes deeply]
[breathes deeply]
Just as a "fuck you" to her. Let's do it.
My mother would take us into her room...
she would take us into her bed.
She would make us touch each other.
She would make us play with each other.
She would touch us.
She would masturbate us.
She would do things that no mother
should ever do to their child.
And then she moved on.
Not only did she want to do those things
for her own gratification,
she then passed us around to her friends.
So she would drive us to friends' houses,
have dinner and a glass of wine,
and then leave us there.
Never together, always on our own.
And then some strange man
that I'd never met and I never knew
would take me into his bed
and touch me
and rape me and violate me.
For his gratification.
And then, in the morning,
my mother would come and pick me up
and drive me home.
Never speaking, never talking.
What did I do in the car?
I was silent and I was quiet.
Always silent, always quiet.
And then it would happen again and again.
And then she would take Alex away.
I would be lying in my bed...
-[sobbing] my room.
Alex wouldn't be there, he's my twin.
He would be staying with a friend.
And this was something
that was a normality in our life.
This was something we grew up with.
And we accept it.
Children accept it.
Children will accept anything
because they love their parents.
And they think that what their parents
is doing is part of growing up.
We don't have the capacity
to feel that we...
[tearfully] know it's wrong.
[normal voice] even now,
all these years later,
I think to myself,
"Fuck you, Mother.
How fucking dare you think
that you can do that to me?"
But she's gone. She's died.
She's got away with it.
And I can't say that to her.
And I regret that.
I bitterly regret that.
But now... I'm speaking out.
Now I'm telling you.
I've never met you all.
I don't know who you are.
[tearfully] But you know who my mother is.
And you know what she's done is wrong.
[exasperated sigh]
And that's very powerful.
And I need that.
We all need that.
[breathes deeply]
[leaves rustling]
[car engine starts]
[tires moving over gravel]
[car engine fading away]
[chair dragging]
[Marcus exhales]
I knew some of that.
I guessed some of that.
I thought about some of that.
I just didn't know the magnitude of it.
I didn't know it was as big as that.
[eerie music playing]
[rain pattering]
[Alex] How d-- how did we get out
of that house in one piece?
Do you want to hear about all that?
We're here now.
We're never gonna do this again.
So, the last time that I was...
passed about, for want of a better word...
I was driven to London by Mommy.
She had dinner with this guy, an artist.
Supposedly quite a famous artist.
We had dinner.
She left.
And I stayed in the house.
And then he came into my-- into this room,
which was surrounded by paintings
and it had a four-poster bed,
and he got into into the bed
with me and started touching me.
[clicks tongue]
And I was 14 years old.
And once he got down to my genitals...
I sat up in bed and I said, "No.
I don't want this. I don't like this."
And I pushed him away,
and he got very aggressive.
And I managed to get out of his house.
-And I got home.
-How did you get home?
How's that even possible?
I walked down to the tube.
I jumped on a tube with no money,
but you could do in those days.
I got onto the train with no money.
And I walked home.
And I came in, I knocked on the window,
and you let me in.
I got into my bed and I went to sleep.
-And the next day we carried on--
-What the hell did Mommy say to that then?
How-- She didn't even know
you were in the house?
Nothing. I came up in the morning.
We had breakfast.
She looked very surprised
that I was there.
And I looked at her. And she looked at me.
And it never happened again.
-And that was the end of it, Ali.
-Without saying anything?
[tearfully] Without saying anything.
[mutters] Fuck.
And she never did it to you again.
You never left.
You never were out of the house again.
And it was finished.
That's how it stopped.
[breathes deeply]
Now you've got everything.
You've got everything, Ali.
That's what I needed.
That's what I needed.
No more lies! No more lies.
No more silence. No more secrets.
And I have you back... with me.
[both crying]
[birds chirping]
[Alex] There is no way for me to repay him
for what he's done.
And there is no words I can say to him.
But he knows.
And that's enough.
It's over.
And we move on.
[soft piano music playing]