Remembrance

When a neuroscientist experiments with memory technology to explore her past, she finds herself in a potentially lethal situation.

Genre: Science Fiction

Length: 9:58

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3.5 out of 5 stars

Producer/s : Emma Hanby, Mark Jepson

Director/s : Mark Jepson, 

Writer/s : Mark Jepson, 

Actor/s : Elizabeth Bouckley, Camilla Simson

 

Memories make us

There’s a science fiction subgenre, in which a drug or a mind probe allows the user to relive moments from the past. It works well in film, because the result is like a film screened on the inside of the protagonist’s forehead. In Remembrance, the forehead belongs to Una, a research assistant, testing the prototype technology on herself.

The film asks how accurate memories are, or might they be inventions of what we wish had happened? Is Una creating new memories and a new history? Is she becoming addicted to her internal film? It asks, is obsession with the past unhealthy?

Remembrance treads a fine line between simplicity and cliché. Why is “Memories make us who we are. Change them, and who do we become?” on the right side, while “You can never change the past, you have to let go” on the wrong side of the line?

Until Una risks overdosing on the brain-frying tech, Remembrance is a rather gentle drama; and it paces itself nicely to the tense conclusion. The silent moments are the most powerful – Una as a little girl, playing on a beach, suddenly finding she’s all alone; and her quietly tearful face, regretting words unsaid from the past. Neil Cain’s unobtrusive camerawork is commendable here.

The pairing of Elizabeth Boukley as Una and Camilla Simson as her mother, both barely suppressing their irritation with each other, works superbly. They surely deserve an Austen piece on which to work together.

Writer/director Mark Jepson’s film tells us, in an understated and rather English way, to live each day as if it’s your last, to show your love, and if peace needs to be made, to make it now. Una’s problem was, she left it too late.

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