The so-called “Alzheimer’s for the young,” Korsakov’s disease takes away memories, but in a strange twist, it allows the imagination to fill in the gaps with plausible but entirely false stories. For young François Ardanuit – born of a teenage mother and raised in poverty by his grandmother – this affliction seems a welcome relief, an opportunity to surrender his humble past and claim another, more glorious family heritage. Fottorino skillfully brings us into the mind of the boy who longs for his unknown father and the man who creates his own ancestral story.
Imagined or real? For the storyteller and the Korsakov victim, the difference is lost in the desire to believe the tale.