Hiroshima mon amour  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Hiroshima mon amour is a 1959 drama film directed by French film director Alain Resnais, with a screenplay by Marguerite Duras. It is the documentation of an intensely personal conversation between a French-Japanese couple about memory and forgetfulness. It was a major catalyst for the Nouvelle Vague (French New Wave), making highly innovative use of miniature flashbacks to create a uniquely nonlinear storyline.

Plot

Hiroshima mon amour concerns a series of conversations (or one enormous conversation) over a 36-hour long period between a French actress (Emmanuelle Riva), referred to as She, and a Japanese architect (Eiji Okada), referred to as He. They have had a brief relationship, and are now separating. The two debate memory and forgetfulness as She prepares to depart, comparing failed relationships with the bombing of Hiroshima and the perspectives of people inside and outside the incidents. The early part of the film recounts, in the style of a documentary but narrated by the so far unidentified characters, the effects of the Hiroshima bomb on August 6, 1945, in particular the loss of hair and the complete anonymity of the remains of some victims. He had been conscripted into the Japanese army and his family was in Hiroshima on that day.

The film uses highly structured repetitive dialogue, mostly consisting of Her narration, with Him interjecting to say she is wrong, lying or confused, or to deny and contradict her statements with the film's famous line "You are not endowed with memory." Although He disagrees and rejects many of the things She says, he pursues her constantly. The film is peppered with dozens of brief flashbacks to Her life; in her youth in the French town Nevers, she was shamed and had her head shaved as punishment for having a love affair with a German soldier, which she juxtaposes with the loss of the hair "which the women of Hiroshima will find has fallen out in the morning."

Cast




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Hiroshima mon amour" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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