Ben Berman‘s debut feature, The Amazing Johnathan Documentary, is now screening in select theaters and streaming on Hulu.
One might assume the documentary is a profile about The Amazing Johnathan, aka John Edward Szeles, a magician and stand-up comedian who built a career out of performing shocking hijinks in the 1980s. In 2014, Johnathan announced he was retiring due to being diagnosed with a terminal heart condition, given just one year to live. Fast forward to three years later: the dying illusionist is still very much alive, and filmmaker Ben Berman decides to document The Amazing Johnathan on an epic comeback tour.
As the finale tour kicks off, the film veers off into expected territories, charting the bizarre journey and unraveling of its documentarian, once Berman begins to delve deeper into figuring out what is real and what is illusion.
Berman’s debut feature, which he also co-edited and produced, was sold to Hulu after competing in the U.S. Documentary Competition at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. Having got his start in the comedy television world, Berman continues to make his mark in the ad space with More Media, working with clients like Zappos, Old Spice, and Big O Tires.