Have you heard the one about the doctor in Kansas who made a fortune peddling goat testicles to cure impotence?
This may sound like the opening line for a joke, but it’s actually the strange true tale of John Romulus Brinkley, a small-town doctor in 1900s America, whose rags-to-riches story is the subject of a funny and captivating documentary at the Sundance Film Festival.
Directed by Penny Lane, “Nuts!” traces Brinkley’s unbelievable rise to fame as he comes up with a surgical method to transplant goat testicles into impotent men while living in the tiny Kansas town of Milford in 1917.
“I started working on this documentary after coming across a book in the library about Brinkley called ‘Charlatan’,” Lane told AFP. “And the whole time I was reading it, I was thinking, ‘did it (his medicine) work?'”