Dienstag, August 09, 2005

HIROSHIMA , MON AMOUR / French movie / Director: Alain Resnais / Writer: the famous authoress Marguerite Duras


France 1959 89mins 35mm B&W French w/E.S.

Over images of bodies embracing—bathed in sweat or atomic ash?—a man tells a woman that she's seen nothing in Hiroshima. She protests that she has: she's visited the museum, she's seen the twisted metal and disfigured flesh. From postwar images we move to tracking shots of the streets of Hiroshima circa 1959, and the woman implores the man—or the city?—to "Destroy me, you are good for me. Devour me, deform me to the point of ugliness..."

A French actress making a film "about peace" encounters a Japanese architect in his city of Hiroshima. The morning after a quick affair, their fling revives memories of her first love in her hometown during World War II. The current lover acts as a medium for her attempted exorcism of this past love, one forever linked to war, death, disgrace and madness. "Each day, I resisted with all my might against the horror of no longer understanding the reason for remembering," she says. "Like you, I did forget."

This unique specimen of the French New Wave delivers a profound and romantic meditation on how humans incorporate—by accepting with their bodies and minds—the destruction of war. In this 60th year since the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it still has the power to demand that we combat the oblivion of forgetting.