Archive for the ‘Alain Resnais’ Category

Hiroshima Mon Amour

Mom: “They are in their teens and eloped. She was found and brought back home; tried commiting suicide. Ultimately, her folks had to relieve her. Now she lives with him, away from their folks.” I scoff. Teenage love!

Couple of weeks ago I watched Alain Resnais’ “Hiroshima Mon Amour”, and memory floods of my love when back in my teens. Pop forced me not to talk to her and scoffed, “Teenage love!”

As much Resnais’ film is a love story on the outset, its about the acts of forgetting and remembering. “Memory beyond consolation, memory of shadows and stones.” Beyond the need to empathize, to remember. The struggle to understand why we need to remember. “Why deny the existence of the need to remember?” The struggle to remember. “And yet, I forget!” And we forget. And yet, “We have to stay away from all troubled thoughts in life, else we’d suffocate to death!” Where does one find the balance? How can one stay afloat with the memories and not drown in the eddy of forgetfulness?

The film is also a statement against war. Against means to war. Sufferings of war don’t end at the battlefield, nor do they end when the signs of war have vanished. War lives forever within every being, within their forgetting memories, varying only in degree, affecting their lifes unexpectedly.

When she (Emmanuel Riva) falls for a japanese man (Eiji Okada) while shooting for a film on location in japan, memories of her first “impossible” love to a german soldier in france, during the wee end of WWII, returns to haunt her. The locals murder the german soldier and make her a scapegoat of unpatriotism rendering an apparent true love impossible. Now a married mom, her unexpected emotion of love, which started as a one-nighter, to this married japanese man seems doomed too as she needs to board a flight the next day back to france, to her family. Both know that it is impossible, but want to hold on and see each other. If apart, both know they will gradually and inevitably forget one another, however hard they try to hold. As the film gradually reveals, we find that this affair has taken over, unintentionally, as a form of catharsis for her, but ultimately falls short of a┬ácomplete catharsis, as questions abound for which answers fall short. This review puts it well: “…two people hopelessly separated, not by their marital status or culture, but by the burden of their memories.”

The film flows like a poem, a concise poem, poetic in verse and image.