Hiroshima Mon Amour plus Guernica
Hiroshima Mon Amour
This classic of the nouvelle vague broke all conventions with its profound imagery counterpointing Marguerite Duras' poetic dialogue; its original soundtrack which fused music and text, and its integration of present and past (a theme apparent in Resnais' work from Toute la mémoire du monde to Last Year at Marienbad to Providence).
In Hiroshima, a French actress working on an antiwar film meets a Japanese architect. Though they come together sexually, wordlessly, at a finite moment in time, she is her past and he is his, and their encounter revives memories of the war. For Duras, there is something irreducible about the separateness of two individuals that sex can transcend only fleetingly. The struggle of the lovers to come to terms with their separate pasts, and with the idea that life goes on, is set against newsreel images from a collective history - represented by the hospital at Hiroshima, the war museum, and the rebuilt city - through which the film's pacifist subplot is developed.