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 an impossible love – IL (intimate love between two persons which cannot be realized in different forms of conventional relationships). Taking a love affair between a French actress and a Japanese architect in Hiroshima ten years after 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 that is incompatible with the destructive ways of being in the world (with high-tech weaponry, destruction of life and the environment, and economic shock therapies and austerity for wide populations).

According to the film the two main protagonists are capable of creating this new kind of love (which viewers are privileged to see) together which is stronger than traditional ways of feeling and thinking.

By virtuoso montage and sophisticated semiotic devices Resnais stimulates us the viewers to clear for ourselves the definition of IL (intimate love). Closer to the end of the film it becomes clearer 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 the human body on equal grounds, and human soul meets the destiny of the humankind. IL is the ordeal that lovers inspired by the challenge of post-nuclear holocaust life can go through in order to be on the level of its demands and predicaments.

“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/physical love between the hero and the heroine is shown as, as if, having alchemical power over life and death. The film shows personal love as a psychotherapeutic process and healing the human unconscious. Love for another human being becomes love for the body of the 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 the 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