This movie was really a labour of love for Jeff Bridges, one which spanned almost two decades. He had originally intended to have his father, Lloyd Bridges, act in the role of the Giver but they ran into a lot of complications and delays, and his father died in 1998. The DVD contains a bonus feature which is a video of an early script reading by Lloyd Bridges as the Giver, with various other members of the Lloyd family reading other parts. Actual filming started in late 2013, with Jeff Bridges in the role he had intended for his father.
Actually, I'm not really bothered by the lack of explanation for the whole memory thing; sometimes you just have to accept a premise in a movie and run with it. As I remarked in another review- Frequency, I think, or maybe Forever Plaid- I'm willing to overlook certain lapses in logic if the ideas and issues presented in a work of fiction interest me. Or if I'm just having a whole lot of fun watching/ reading it. In the case of The Giver, I find the concepts which the film addresses quite interesting, and so am willing to cut it some slack. In Part II, I'll discuss these concepts and my opinions about them... I have some very decided ones.