Review: ‘Hiroshima Mon Amour’

A first [feature of] its director, film can be classed as a noble try to make a statement on human love and the Atom Bomb (hardly a lovable thing), but it's too literary in conception and too cerebral in treatment.

A first [feature of] its director, film can be classed as a noble try to make a statement on human love and the Atom Bomb (hardly a lovable thing), but it’s too literary in conception and too cerebral in treatment.

A woman (Emmanuele Riva) and a man (Eiji Okada), in a lover’s embrace, talk of Hiroshima. Horrors of the Bomb are evoked. Lovers are a French woman, in Japan working on a film calling for world peace, and a Japanese architect. Then follows their realization of the impossibility of their love, since both are married.

Film then welds in her souvenirs of a first love during the war in France with a German soldier, his death, her breakdown and her reacceptance of life. The film plods.

Director Alain Resnais directs with sombre feeling and tact. It makes a plea for love and world humanity but does it without finally making the love a real, palpable thing, and it remains a symbolical trauma tied up with Hiroshima and the Occupation.

Hiroshima Mon Amour

France - Japan

Production

Argos/Como/Pathe Overseas/Daie. Dir Alain Resnais; Producer Sacha Kamenka, Takeo Shirakawa; Screenplay Marguerite Duras; Camera Sacha Vierny, Michio Takahashi; Editor Henri Colpi, Jasmine Chasney; Music Giovanni Fusco, Georges Delerve Art Dir Esaka, Mayo, Petri

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1959. Running time: 95 MIN.

With

Emmanuele Riva Eiji Okada Stella Dassas Bernard Fresson Pierre Barbaud

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