Hiroshima Mon Amour ★★★★

French filmmaker Alain Resnais tackled the issues in this film with such intimate attention in his debut picture Hiroshima Mon Amour. A classic tale of love, war, suffering and bitter memories, which focuses on an affair between a French actress and a Japanese architect in the bomb-ravaged city of Hiroshima. As the film moves from narrated reality to a dramatic, flashback-filled drama of sensual misery, it becomes a rare film where the present and the past mingle in each frame to convey a sense of the vanishing time. On the contrary, the facticity of the film itself continues to be questioned by the director’s decision to blur the boundaries between nonfiction and fiction. What started as a live documentary about the atomic bomb mutated into something richer and stronger. Hiroshima Mon Amour opposes the notion that disasters on the scale of the Holocaust and Hiroshima can be truly or wholely represented. In year of 1959, only fourteen years after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, some of the famous filmmakers probably had something quite specific in mind with their quest to find a truly modern post-war cinema, a cinema that would respond to the moral imperatives of the time and then define it that moment for the whole time.

Hiroshima Mon Amour is also a very beautiful film. Gloomy black-and-white cinematography reaches expressive heights in many crucial scenes. The reason for this must be due to the beautiful movement of the camera and the deliberate move away from conventional script writing by Marguerite Dumas. The film has an operatic feel, with the extraordinary scoring as the driving force. All-inclusive, Hiroshima Mon Amour not only tackles beauty and desire in a new relationship, but also the underlying sadness of being an observer on the opposite side of a war where the opponents of both are considered inherently evil. It is difficult to gauge the extent of the Hiroshima impact, nevertheless it remains one of the most influential films in cinema history.

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