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The film Memento by director Christopher Nolan depicts the great misfortune of a man, Leonard, who, due to an attack, cannot retain any new information and thus has short term memory loss. Distraught over the murder of his wife he sets out to find her killers but due to his condition he must leave permanent reminders, tattoos, for himself on his progress of his wife’s case. The film itself is set in an intriguing way that lets the audience find out information along with Leonard. The “black outs” or black ins that he has, the audience views them with him as the same time that he does. The film starts in reverse slow motion and thus continues to go in reverse from the end of the film to the beginning, which ends up being the end. There are various scenes where Leonard goes into a monologue and the scene is shot in black and white. Those scenes are where the audience obtains a wider understanding of Leonard’s back story, at least what he can remember. A greater interplay of the story is how much a person relies on what they remember, like Leonard, because memory can always be altered and thus isn’t always reliable. The way that the movies itself is shown to viewers emphasizes this idea due to Leonard’s inability to cope with his condition and thinking that he is coping and that his “system” helps him live; when in fact it is the unresolved murder of his wife that gives him a purpose to live.

-Juana Acha

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