In the movie Tenet, there's a car chase scene involving two cars, one of which, an Audi, is inverted or traveling backwards in time. The other, a BMW, is traveling forwards in time.

In this scene, the Audi first travels in reverse to the BMW. This makes sense as the Audi is inverted - at some point in the future the Audi will pass the BMW so inverting the Audi in the future would reverse it back to the point where it passes the BMW.

As the Audi passes the BMW it momentarily loses control after coming in contact with the BMW's side mirror. It then proceeds to "chase" the BMW in reverse. A clip of the scene can be found here.

Why doesn't the Audi change its orientation so that it and the BMW are traveling in the same direction? I might can clarify this question with the following conventions.

  • BMW is traveling North, facing North
  • Audi is traveling South, facing North
  • Audi comes in contact with BMW, spins out briefly, passing it
  • Audi continues chasing the BMW North while facing South

Shouldn't the Audi chase the BMW North facing North after the collision? If when the car is inverted it travels South facing North, wouldn't it then at some point in the past have to been chasing the BMW in the North direction?

4 Answers 4


I believe the Audi is travelling in the correct direction and orientation. Sator, who is in the Audi, is already inverted and from Sator's POV, he would see The Protagonist's car travelling in the opposite direction. This means he will see the Protagonist's car facing North, but travelling South. So, if he wants to be side by side with the Audi (to do the plutonium exchange), then he has to be facing South and travelling South as well. If he were to face North, then from his perspective, he would have to reverse his own car down the highway to go South (which is definitely harder than driving it forward). Of course, from the Protagonist's POV (and ours), we would see Sator's car facing South but travelling North (since their flow of time is opposite).

If you are still unable to visualise this, then perhaps you can find an online reverse video tool and supply the URL you provided in your question. Then, you can observe how Sator is behaving from his perspective.


Consider I’m driving an Audi south from New York to Florida, passing some places called north-bridge then south-river before clipping my wing mirror and spinning out. All this time I’m facing south, towards Florida.

Time reversed, I spin out (in?) before clipping my wing mirror - but then I pass the south-river then north-bridge (ie I am heading north) but I’m still facing Florida to the south.

The thing I’m not sure of is why the Audi was reversing while it “travels in reverse” at the start of the clip.

  • 1
    I suppose it was traveling in reverse up to the mirror clipping in order not to alert the protagonist's team
    – HorusKol
    Sep 21, 2020 at 11:53

Using a reverse tool you can see Sator's car was moving forwards all the time, it is the reference to the moving protagonist car that changes.

The issue with the Audi chasing the protagonist's car is that it "should" be in front of it or on the side as in some part of the chase. If you are in a car moving forward chasing a car that you see moving in reverse, you won't chase it behind it, but in front, so the protagonist should see it reversing in front of them.


I think this was a mistake. Indeed if you look at it from inverted Sator's (IS) pov where time is inverted, the non-inverted protag is driving backwards. So to chase him, IS's car should be facing non-inverted protag, not trailing behind it. Correct me if I'm wrong.

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