The water and the boat

The movie starts with crew on a boat in rough seas that sees a body floating in the water. They pull the body out of the water. It is Jason Bourne and he has lost consciousness. There are bullets in the body and one of the crew members (Giancarlo) removes the bullets and finds a metal object which can project information about a bank account in Jason’s hip.

When Jason comes to, he asks where he is and what they are trying to do to him. Giancarlo tries to settle him down and asks: “Who are you. What is your Name”. Jason answers, “I don’t know”, and starts getting hostile, asking where he is. Not in the clip, but later in the scene, Giancarlo sees a knotted rope. “What’s this, you tie these knots? So, it starts to come back?” Jason replies: “No, it doesn’t start to come back. The knot is like everything else. I just found the rope and I did it. The same way I can read. I can write. I can add, subtract. I can make coffee …”. Then he says that it is not coming back. “When we get in there tomorrow, I don’t even have a name”. This scene really strikes me as you can see Jason’s frustration, and those lines can make you empathize with what he is going through.

Amnesia in movies is not new with the Bourne series. However, usually, the amnesia isn’t portrayed with much scientific accuracy. This article explains this misuse of amnesia and how some films portray it: One part of the article of note is the following: “in many cases of cinematic amnesia, head injuries lead to loss of memory of earlier events (retrograde amnesia), but the character usually goes on to lead an otherwise normal life. Real patients who incur brain damage usually suffer from anterograde amnesia – they lose the ability to form new memories, but their memories of events that occurred before the amnesia often remain intact”. The amnesia in Memento is a more accurate display of how amnesia usually works. Jason Bourne suffers from retrograde amnesia by not remembering his past.

Some of the films that use amnesia as a plot point include: Two in the Dark (1936), Random Harvest (1942), Street of Chance (1942) – Note, this is the film with Burgess Meredith, not the 1930 film with the same name starring William Powell –  Stage Fright (1950), Female Fiends (1952), The Groundstar Conspiracy.  Some of these include Memento (2000), The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996),  Total Recall (1990), The Long Kiss Goodnight (1979), and Finding Nemo (2003).  This list is not by any means exhaustive but shows that amnesia is a fairly common plot point. We found a more complete list of these films at this webpage


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