In new British independent documentary, THE MAN WHOSE MIND EXPLODED, award-winning film-maker Toby Amies explores the extraordinary past and never-ending now of Drako Oho Zarharzar: philosopher, muse to Salvador Dali, drug dealer to the Rolling Stones, and King of Brighton’s eccentrics.
This unique, genre-busting, genuinely independent feature-length documentary is being released at Picturehouse Cinemas on July 1st, with week-long preview runs at the Ritzy in Brixton, and Dukes at Komedia in Brighton from June 13th. However, TMWME needs help to bring this film to a wider national audience, and that costs money! Without a massive marketing budget, smaller (but great) independent films get bullied out of cinemas by blockbusters. Please support this campaign and show that audiences want to see intimate, unique, personal stories at the moves as well. Pledge your support here:
Once a stunningly beautiful and sexually adventurous young man, Drako suffered serious brain damage in a car accident in the 90s, leaving him unable to form new memories. Now the 76-year old Drako can remember being discovered by Dali but doesn’t know where he went yesterday.
To cope with his condition, known as anterograde amnesia, Drako has chosen to put his faith in a benevolent universe and live “completely in the now” according to a bizarre three word philosophy: “Trust, Absolute, Unconditional.” – his first words on waking from his coma.
The film’s title is inspired by Drako’s home: he has transformed his tiny Brighton council flat into a sprawling 3-D artwork that spills out into every space and surface. It’s a kind of autobiographical collage that reminds him who he is and introduces the visitor to his obsessions: his friends, Dali, his family, Jesus, nipples, cocks, happiness, and love. It’s a unique environment – the life’s work of an outsider interior designer. It’s also a life-threatening fire hazard.
Drawn in by Drako’s exotic appearance and compelling biography, film-maker Toby Amies breaks the first rule of documentaries and falls for his subject. As he visits Drako over the course of several years, the line between biographer and carer becomes blurred, resulting in an intimate record of a painful, touching and frequently hilarious relationship that will resonate with anyone who’s tried to care for someone who isn’t looking after themselves.
Described by Indiewire as “incredibly insightful and sweet”, and by the Times as “an affectionate poignant portrait” , the film explicitly explores issues of consent around the care of someone who sees the potential mortal threat of his disability very differently from the people who love him.
THE MAN WHOSE MIND EXPLODED is directed by Toby Amies (award winner at the Dali Award International Surrealist Film Festival) and produced by Amies with Grierson award-winning Kat Mansoor (Here’s Johnny) and Rob Alexander (Glory Road). Executive producers are the Grierson and RTS award-winning Daisy Asquith (Clowns, Crazy About One Direction) and Dunstan Bruce of Chumbawamba. The film is edited by Jim Scott (The Great Hip Hop Hoax) and the soundtrack is composed by Echo and the Bunnymen collaborator Adam Peters (Savages).