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Louis Theroux: A Different Brain
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"He looks like my son but he's got a different soul inside him," says Earl's mother Patricia. Earl was in a car crash two years ago and suffered a head injury that has changed him in odd ways so that he now hoards mouthwash and likes flashy clothes, for instance. In the middle of a conversation with Louis Theroux, Earl randomly turns on loud music and in a later scene swears at his mother. “He’s got a dead look behind his eyes,” she says.
What Theroux's humane but troubling film shows is the emotional turmoil involved in dealing with brain injuries - not least for family members showing unconditional love in the face of really tough personality changes. Watching marine engineer Rob in Cornwall coping with his changed wife Amanda, who fell from a horse, and how the new, harder Amanda affects their young kids is heartbreaking.
The reporter meets people recovering from brain injuries, as he spends time with staff and patients at the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust. He discovers the challenges they face having to re-learn basic skills like walking, talking and eating from scratch, as well as the personality changes that can be brought about by their condition, which pose a serious problem in reconnecting with their old life.
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