After a sexual assault, a Toronto musician spends a weekend trying to find the money for HIV-preventive treatment, in this ferocious debut from writer-director M. H. Murray and writer-star Mark Clennon.
I Don't Know Who You Are
M. H. Murray
After a sexual assault, Toronto musician Benjamin (Mark Clennon) must pull together the money for HIV-preventive PEP treatment in the event that he’s been exposed to the virus — while also avoiding the man (Anthony Diaz) he's just started dating. Short of cash and determined to solve the problem himself, Benjamin spends a frantic weekend trying to raise the $900 he needs in the 72-hour window when PEP is most effective.
In his first feature, writer-director M. H. Murray filters his own real-life experience through the character of Benjamin, whom he and Clennon created in their 2020 short Ghost. And like that short, I Don’t Know Who You Are is all about inner conflicts forcing themselves to the surface, with an additional level of commentary on how hard it is to simply exist in Toronto without money or status.
Benjamin’s increasingly fraught visits to his friends serve as a tour through the city’s unspoken class system, shading in further aspects of his mounting anxiety; there are points in the film when it feels like we’re watching a microbudget version of Uncut Gems (TIFF ’19), with a frenzied protagonist trying so hard to hide his desperation and panic.
It’s a powerhouse debut, showcasing a remarkable performance by Clennon, a Toronto artist and poet effortlessly holding the screen in his own first feature. (Clennon also served as the film’s producer and story editor, and wrote and performed Benjamin’s songs.)
You won’t see another debut like I Don’t Know Who You Are this year. Brace yourselves.
Official Selection, 2023 Toronto International Film Festival
Content advisory: themes of sexual violence; mature themes, sexually suggestive themes, nudity, coarse language