Alain Resnais
Alain Resnais

Alain Resnais contemplates love in Hiroshima
Alain Resnais contemplating his future film

“Hiroshima,mon amour” is a film about the possibility and actuality of the impossible love – IL (intimate love between two persons which cannot be realized in numerous forms of conventional relationships). Taking love affair between a French actress and a Japanese architect in Hiroshima ten years after the nuclear bomb, Resnais examines the necessity for those who live after the nuclear holocaust to become new human beings in order to find new ways of living incompatible with the destructive ways of being in the world (with high-tech weaponry, destruction of the environment, and shock therapies and austerity for wide populations).

According to the film, the main protagonists are capable of creating together a new kind of love (which viewers are privileged to see) that can be stronger than human traditional ways of feeling and thinking.

By virtuoso montage and sophisticated semiotic devices Resnais stimulates the viewers to clear for themselves the definition of IL. Closer to the end of the film it becomes clear that IL is not the one that is impossible to realize, but it’s the one in which competent perception of the world meets Eros, spirituality meets human body on equal grounds, and human soul meets the destiny of the humankind. IL is an ordeal that lovers inspired by the challenge, can go through to be on the level of demands and predicaments of a post-nuclear holocaust life.

“Hiroshima…” is not a political film, but the one where political aspect of today’s life is inseparable from our existential concerns, intimate life and cultural interests. The bodily love of the hero and the heroine is shown as, as if, having an alchemical power over life and death. The film shows personal love as a psychotherapeutic process and as a healing of human unconscious. Love for another person becomes love for the body of earth, for earth’s earthly and human flesh and soul.

The heroine of the film (Emmanuelle Riva in a monumentally unique performance) impersonates the frustrated condition of Western psyche in relation to the very function of love, and simultaneously the vital potential for overcoming the amorous trauma. She is one of the first female characters in the world cinema who is liberated from the pop-cinematic “femininity” and a sugary appeal to male perception. In her personality humanness and womanhood are indissoluble.

“Hiroshima, mon amour” is a film of planetary significance, film of human species, film whose relevance for human life grows with each year.

The heroine’s compulsive memory about her forbidden (treasonous) love during WWII

Love in post-war Hiroshima resurrects and re-enacts the awkward love affair of the heroine’s youth

The heroine learns that love is incompatible with rivalry and excludes jealousy

The past love as an ally and twin of the actual one

Amorous experience as a philosophical ordeal

When life is transformed into a moment of loving, when a moment of loving is transformed into life

Posted on May 25 2013 –   Alain Resnais’ “Hiroshima, Mon Amour” (1959) – A Film About A New Type of Love That Must Be Stronger Than Human Destructiveness  by Acting-Out Politics