2020 Cinema Eye Honors Weekend | January 4-6, 2020

The Amazing Johnathan Documentary

Directed by Ben Berman Produced by Miranda Bailey, Ben Berman, Russell Groves, Amanda Marhsall, Jacob Perlin

The Amazing Johnathan Documentary begins as a profile on a uniquely deranged magician who built a career out of shock and deception in the 1980s, but becomes the bizarre story about the unravelling of his documentarian. ’The Amazing Johnathan’, with his irreverent magic act, rose to popularity landing one of the longest residencies in Las Vegas. However in 2014, Johnathan was diagnosed with a terminal heart condition and given only one year to live, forcing him to retire his act. Fast forward to three years later, Johnathan is still alive and chooses to return to the stage. Filmmaker Ben Berman sets out to capture The Amazing Johnathan’s comeback tour while peeling back the curtain on his unique, meth-fueled life. ’The Amazing Johnathan’, with his irreverent magic act, rose to popularity landing one of the longest residencies in Las Vegas. However in 2014, Johnathan was diagnosed with a terminal heart condition and given only one year to live, forcing him to retire his act. Fast forward to three years later, Johnathan is still alive and chooses to return to the stage. Filmmaker Ben Berman sets out to capture The Amazing Johnathan’s comeback tour while peeling back the curtain on his unique, meth-fueled life. But the seemingly straightforward profile of this eccentric illusionist starts careening off the rails as Johnathan drops a bombshell that sends the film spiraling into uncertainty. As we delve deeper to determine what’s real and what’s illusion, hard questions are raised, uncovering deeper truths about the ethics of filmmaking and human nature.