Hiroshima Mon Amour, considered a seminal arthouse classics of world cinema, established Alain Resnais, a documentary filmmaker until then, as one of the most original filmmakers to have emerged during the French New Wave. Alternately an intellectually challenging and an emotionally invigorating work, this near-oblique, aesthetically complex and deliberately paced avant-garde film was a Tarkovskian meditation on time and memory. The movie’s central protagonists are, a French actress (Emmanuelle Riva) who is in Hiroshima to be part of an anti-war documentary, and a Japanese architect (Eiji Okada) with whom she has become involved in an extended one-night stand during her stay there. Both the nameless characters, despite their seemingly mundane lives, are still recovering from emotional scars suffered during their respective pasts – she, the ordeal of occupied France during World War II, and he, the devastating aftermaths of the dropping of ‘Little Boy’ by the US in 1945. The movie begins in a non-descript hotel room one night, and over the course of the following day and night the viewers are apprised of the losses and ensuing disillusionments that have shaped the lives of these two deeply melancholic and lonely human beings. The circular narrative alternately shifted between past and present, and between reality and dreams, with hypnotic monologues as accompaniment, thus making this beautifully scored and photographed tone poem an audacious demonstration of the techno-philosophical capabilities of cinema.
Genre: Drama/Psychological Drama/Romance/Avant-Garde