An early entry in modern philosophical psychology, Memento breaks down the process of recollection, and of reporting history, with a bold storytelling innovation.
The story is told in reverse order. This creates in the viewer’s mind the same sensation of memory that the protagonist experiences, because of his cognitive disability.
We can analyze a cognitive process that we usually do automatically.
The protagonist eventually finds himself rewriting history to maintain his moral narrative.
He is on a quest, to find and punish his wife’s killer. His tools are message artifacts he has produced in the past to remind him of his true mission, and to give meaning to his life. He can’t remember creating each of these artifacts. He is in the position of an archeologist interpreting old manuscripts, cave drawing, hieroglyphs, or ancient practices, but his past messages to his present self are very brief. He has to fill in the gaps.