Melody Gilbert
USA 2003, 56 min

One morning, retired architect George Boyer picks up a shotgun, sits down on the grass near his Florida home and ties a tourniquet tightly around his upper left thigh. Then he purposely blows the leg to shreds, forcing doctors to amputate the limb.

For the first time in his life, he says, he feels “whole.”

Boyer is a voluntary amputee, a man with a disorder so rare, mysterious and under documented that doctors are only beginning to quantify and classify it. The riveting documentary Whole profiles half a dozen otherwise “normal” people who are obsessed with having a limb (usually a leg) removed. With two legs, they feel strange, sad and unfulfilled-with only one, they are convinced, they will be finally feel complete. Many are so articulate and likable that no matter how difficult you find it to understand their desire, you will come away from the film with sympathy for their strange predicament. Addressing profound questions about body image and identity, as well as the outer limits of medical and psychiatric practice, Melody Gilbert’s stranger-than-fiction film will shake you up and keep you talking.


Elena Elmoznino, 2003, USA, 27 min