Nana meets the anonymous gaze of the viewers – she is, as if, semi-consciously appealing to the public either to protect herself from her still unknown ordeals or for us just to know that she exists, she – a unique, an incredible, a kind of an existential philosopher, a person who is, as if, close to martyrdom, an impossible beautiful soul. But it’s very risky, almost absurd to look for unique configuration of a destiny.


The extraordinary nature of Nana’s personality is marked before the viewers by the fact that she has abandoned her baby together with her husband and her marriage itself. Oh, no, her marriage wasn’t a “disaster” and her husband wasn’t a “monster” or a “cheater” either. Conversely, he was much more loving and tender than the usual men, and their way of life together was much more refined and prosperous in comparison with that of the typical upper middle-class families. And yet, Nana decided to abandon her marriage and her baby. Oh, no again – Nana is quite a normal person, she is an attractive woman, she is without irrational moods or strange caprices or some kind of peculiar material calculations. As much as common sense allows, she loves her husband and child. She loves her life, but…

Nana couldn’t accept the goodness of domestic family life, its plebeian pretentiousness, its silent but permanently felt boasting/pride. It’s not that Nana had her own critical perspective of modern society’s standards of proper or improper life, but she had a problem with the life style and child rearing practices or manner of love between man and woman (between adults). And it’s not that Nana had some ideas about the problems of what is wrong with our society. But she doesn’t feel herself normal vis-à-vis our “progressive” “democratic” society today. She wants to discover what she wants, what is the problem with her life? Godard gives her the chance to find her own alternative world according to her “ontological” wish/taste. That is the beginning of Godard’s film.

She refused her husband, because, probably, she wanted human love to be different (but she didn’t know how). She refused her child perhaps because she didn’t want him to become a philistine oriented on competing for a spot in social hierarchy and bragging about the wealth of his family or become vengeful if success didn’t dignified it. She didn’t know for sure, what was the reason of her resistance. Is Nana a mental case or just a spiritually oriented person, feeling disappointed with philistine orientation of her society, with too many wars, with growing terrorism provoked by the West to justify its persistently intensifying politics of domination over the World?

If to consider that at the end of the film Nana was murdered by those who preferred profit to her life, she can be considered being a martyr, but for majority of people Nana could easily avoid the dangerous spots of life had she stayed with her husband and child, so in this sense she herself responsible for her death, etc. But how we, the viewers of Godard film will decide the meaning of Nana’s short life? How will we interpret Godard’s epigraph to the film quoting the proverb by Montagne – “Lend yourself to others but give yourself to yourself”?


The “receptionist” at the police station is registering Nana as a minor offender. His gaze doesn’t belong to a human being but to a system processing humans according to its own logic which human sensibility cannot fully grasp.

Godard opposes Nana to people who take life as it is. He juxtaposes the scene of this touchingly naïve couple (accompanied by the chanson in the style of the epoch) with the scene of terrorist attack Nana is trying to escape from. The song poetically reflects a hopeful view of Parisian life in spite of starting war. There is no place for a person like Nana in a life of innocent philistinism. We see that the guy expects an answer from the girl to his marriage proposal – the situation we see here was elaborated in a couple of years later in Jacques Demy’s lyrical stylization “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” (1964).

The philosopher treats Nana as Artaud’s character in Dreyer’s film treats Jeanne D’ Arc. He addresses the philosophical side of her questions and her confusions but not what in her life and personality produces them. Of course, he is a philosopher, not a psychologist.

Nana’s pre-linguistic, “pre-symbolic” dance in which mute body yearns for gestures and rhythms to produce the first acts of speech. Intuitive living is dominating Nana’s life, and such style of being is not just free, but frivolous. Nana’s dance in reality is an opera without sounds or words.

Becoming “conventional adult” for Nana is overture to self-destruction because today’s money-power competes with traditional psycho-semiotic power ruling through language – an issue Nana never had the time or education to brood about. Money calculation is a new language fighting with the traditional human languages for domination. But human language is human, while money-calculation is the despot from another world.

Nana appears in a situation of being lower than the level of profit for both sides of the deal. It’s like making profit on firing workers and selling the business instead of staying in business. Godard predicted the style of profit making in the beginning of 21st century that sacrifices not only the workers but work itself, not only what is human but humanity itself.

Posted Aug, 15, 2017 –   To Become Ontologically Authentic Personality (Complex Of Sublime Selfhood) Or To Share Life With Others – Jean-Luc Godard’s “Vivre sa vie/My Life To Live” (1962) by Acting-Out Politics

Posed on June/23/2014 –     “Vivre sa vie/My Life to Live” (1962) by Jean-Luc Godard  by Acting-Out Politics

Sep, 28 2012 –     Jean-Luc Godard’s “Vivre sa vie/My Life to Live” (1962) – One Extraordinary Woman’s Path Through Marriage, Motherhood, Search for Job, Prostitution, Romantic Love and Verbal Communication with Others by Acting-Out Politics