Alain Resnais | France, 1951 | 91 mins | French/Jap/Eng | Unrated
Entry £4/£3 low waged
West Green Learning Centre on West Green Road.
Doors open at 7pm.
Screening to mark the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima
In 1959 French director Alain Resnais had already completed the (still) jaw-dropping Holocaust documentary Night and Fog (1955) and the (absurdly) banned anti-colonial documentary Statues Also Die (1953) . He would go on to make the features Last Year in Marienbad (1961) and the post-Algerian War melodrama Muriel (1963), but of all these searingly trauma-soaked and politicized cinematic works of art it is possible thatHiroshima mon amour remains the most mythical.
Scripted by French novelist Marguerite Duras, the film is the story of a French film actress (Emmanuelle Riva) who comes to Hiroshima in 1959 to make a film “about peace”, and in the process has a life-changing encounter (at first sexual, later existential) with a Japanese architect (Eiji Okada). What they say to each other over the course of the two nights they spend together is translated by Resnais into cinematic sounds and images which seem not to have aged.
Employing a ghostly use of flashback and tracking, a fantastical fusion of characters, places, ethnicities and time-frames, and an almost obsessive preoccupation with the problem of human pain, Resnais offers us a meditation on the intersection of personal and collective catastrophe, a film which implores us, at all costs, to remember.
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