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Hiroshima, Mon Amour

Barbican Centre
Event organized by Barbican Centre

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The brief and intense relationship, between a French actress and a Japanese man in post-war Hiroshima, is haunted by memories, in this influential debut feature by Alain Resnais.

Asked to film an anti-nuclear documentary in the wake of his influential Holocaust doc Night and Fog, Resnais opted instead to explore mutual guilts and the power of memory. In this film, a French actress (Emmanuelle Rivas) and a Japanese architect (Eji Okada) are introduced as She and Him. While in the midst of separating, the two begin a reflection on their pasts that delves into forgotten moments and repressed memories deep within their psyche, amidst the devastation brought by the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

Written by Marguerite Duras, who received an Oscar nomination for the screenplay, the film is a complex journey of remembering, in which flashbacks reveal She's past experiences back in France, while intercuts to their present-day marathon conversation exemplifies the twists and turns of memory, while delving into the fascinating relationships between history and personal experience, past and present.

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