What’s Missing From Our Collective Memory?

The overhyped but underrated 2006 Christopher Nolan film Inception developed the idea of deliberately seeding ideas in the minds of powerful people in an effort to anticipate, control, and profit by their subsequent behavior. Compelling concept, and applicable to–or drawn from–modern propaganda, which I wrote about earlier this year. Yet there was something missing from the story. Only after watching Amazon’s new series Homecoming did I realize what it was. Starring a vacillating, troubled Julia Roberts, and with an especially loathsome turn by Bobby Cannavale, Homecoming picks up on modern theme of perception management like Inception did. But rather than focus on implanting ideas in an unguarded mind, Sam Esmail’s new series explores the behavioral impact of erasing them.

“Homecoming” is a transition program sold by Robert’s Heidi Bergman as a kind of secluded Brigadoon, a “safe space” where returning soldiers can prepare to reintegrate into society after harrowing experiences on the sand-swept war zones of MENA. The action of the series takes place in this former milieu, a converted office park deep in sandy outback of central Florida. It is fascinating to watch the clinical ‘adjustments’ being made to men’s shell-shocked minds as they ‘recuperate’ in the serene confines of a domestic nowhereland. The quiet psychological action of the story forms a knife-edged contrast with the deafening battlefield histories of the soldiers.

Sound has…

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