When still a young boy, around two years old, Cameron Macauley started talking about his previous life in the very remote island of Barra in the Hebrides. For the next few years he persistently tells of his life there: where he lived, who he lived with, where the house was and what it looked like – even his Father’s name: Shane Robertson.
His Mother Norma tries various approaches: speaking to Dr. Chris French, a psychologist who edits The Skeptic magazine and who who dismisses Cameron’s memories; and also to a child psychologist who tells her that his memories are unlike the normal childhood imaginary friends, because he insists they are real people.
Eventually Cameron becomes quite obsessive about his old life and family, and insists he wants to go to the island. The investigative psychologist Dr Jim Tucker, who has worked on cases of reincarnation at the University of Virginia hears about Cameron, and comes to join him on his journey to his previous home.
They do eventually find a house that fits Cameron’s description, and when looking it over, Cameron becomes strangely quiet, and most unlike his normal self. What is more they find out the house did used to belong to a Robertson family in the 60s and 70s, who were renting it at the time. But when they catch up with a surviving member of the family, it turns out some of the other details are wrong.
Although because of this the film proves in the end to be inconclusive – some of the memories fit very well, and others don’t fit at all – it is hard to see how Cameron could have known about the island and the people living there without any previous contact.
The film also briefly reviews the case of Gus Ortega who believes he is the reincarnation of his own grandfather, and what is more can tell details about the life that he cannot possibly have heard anyone talk about, like the murder of his great-aunty (sister), which is a family secret.
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Cameron’s Mother Norma
Dr Jim Tucker
Visiting his Previous Home
Cameron in Pensive Mood after Visit