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Hiroshima Mon Amour [DVD] [1959]

4.7 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Emmanuelle Riva, Eiji Okada, Stella Dassas
  • Directors: Alain Resnais
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Optimum Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 25 July 2011
  • Run Time: 86 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00525QFAM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 59,283 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Alain Resnais’ groundbreaking first feature, Hiroshima Mon Amour, was a springboard for the French New Wave movement and its influence continues to this day. A nameless French actress (Emmanuelle Riva) and Japanese architect (Eiji Okada) engage in a brief, passionate affair in post-war Hiroshima. Their deeply intense connection brings out scarred memories of love and suffering, which Resnais’ communicates with the use of flashback techniques innovative to that time. Hiroshima Mon Amour received an Academy Award(R) nomination for Best Screenplay. Jean-Luc Godard had high praise for the film’s originality, describing its inventiveness as “the first film without any cinematic references”.


An extraordinary and deeply moving film that retains much of its power since its original release in 1959, Alain Resnais's Hiroshima, Mon Amour is the story of a French woman (Emmanuelle Riva) and a Japanese man (Eiji Okada) who become lovers in the city of Hiroshima, where the US dropped a nuclear bomb to end World War Two in the Pacific. Written by Marguerite Duras and juggled, as if by wandering thoughts, in chronology and setting by Resnais, the film reveals the miserable and mortifying experiences of each character during the war and suggests the obvious healing properties of their relationship in the present. An emotional allusion or two can certainly be made with the more recent The English Patient, but nothing can quite prepare one for Resnais's extreme yet intuitively accessible experiments in fusing the past, present and future into great sweeps of subjectively experienced memory. Yet audiences have never had trouble relating to this bold milestone of the French New Wave, largely because at its heart is a genuinely affecting, soulful love story. --Tom Keogh, --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
In 1959 a French actress, in Hiroshima for an anti-war film, has what she thinks will be a one-night stand with a Japanese man but it leads her into revisiting and re-evaluating the loss she feels from her very first relationship - with a German soldier of the occupying forces in France.

In black and white with an almost noir-ish look, you will love this if development of character interests you. If you want an obvious storyline, you will be disappointed. I was gripped.
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Initially Hiroshima,Mon Amour was commissioned to be a documentary like the 26 that had preceded it,all commissioned,instead it became a work of fiction.This is a complex film exploring themes of time and memory.It's also highly political and literary,based as it is on a script by Maguerite Duras,set in both Japan and France, using both a Japanese actor Eiji Okada and a French actor,Emmanuelle Riva.Set in the present( 1950sJapan),concerns a love affair between 2 unnamed married people,`he' and `she'who meet at various points during the woman's final 24 hours before she returns to France.She is an actor making a film in Hiroshima about peace and he an architect. Within the main love affair is entwined another love affair set in France,in the town of Nevers,towards the end of WWII,told in flashbacks remembered by the woman,however they could be his or hers imaginings or fantasies.

The 2nd love affair is the story of her affair with a young German soldier during the occupation.Their affair is uncovered,he is shot,she publicly humiliated by the townspeople and imprisoned in a cellar by her parents,allowed to leave at the war's end at night.Within the 2 stories is inserted footage of Hiroshima,newsreel taken shortly after the bomb dropped,or artefacts collected from the bombsite on display.Too big for a documentary although it is about Hiroshima,it is not about it in the conventional sense,for that see Black Rain(1989,Kuroi ame),a more conventional film,a family trying to build their lives in the aftermath and the effects of the fallout.Resnais' film is about the universal human experience of suffering,the 2 stories show how memories of our own suffering which cause us pain,allow us to know how it feels when other people suffer.She saw her own suffering multiplied.
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Format: DVD
A highly referential, symbolic love affair forms the core Alain Resnais' Hiroshima mon amour, set against the backdrop of the title city. The opening shots of naked, interlocked bodies (although only the shoulders are visible) establish a persistent thread of understated eroticism. Gradually the lovers become covered by a fine coat of what looks like snow, whereas it is actually radioactive dust blown from the nuclear holocaust. In the throes of sexual excitement, the Elle begins a discourse on her Hiroshima fixation. All her partner Lui can do is refute her claims of having seen the bomb, effectively negating her past.

Thus an underlying structure, which depends on contrasts, is revealed beneath the simple two-day love story. They met - she's a French film actress and he's a Japanese architect - by chance and immediately felt an attraction between them, which could only be satisfied carnally. Their overwhelming passion and depth of feeling for one another is a situation which occurs only infrequently, when two individuals can mesh into a unified whole. However, they are both happily married and understand that the romance is doomed. Strangely and significantly, Elle has been in much the same situation before, with a German soldier, providing a striking parallel with the present.

The relating of Elle's first love to Lui, and the consequences of it, highlights only a single contrast, that of past and present. Hiroshima mon amour seeks to be more philosophical than this though, discovering parallels between joy/despair and society/individual to name two.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I saw this movie in the cinema at the age of 18 and was strongly affected by it.
Forty six years later I bought the DVD and watched it again.
It still bites !
Part love story, part anti-war movie, it deals with a chance meeting between two apparently successful people who are very damaged underneath. Their difficult path towards some sort of future is moving and often uncomfortable to watch.
At no point do you know what's going to happen next. Hollywood, it isn't.

I doubt I'll watch it a third time, but I'm really glad I got the DVD.
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By Tim Kidner TOP 500 REVIEWER on 6 Aug. 2012
Format: DVD
When, a few years ago I was first getting into "foreign" movies, I had bought this DVD, mainly because my Halliwells Film Guide rated it so highly. It was so outstandingly daring and different to anything I'd ever seen, I was totally immersed in both its ugliness and yes, its sheer beauty.

I wanted to give it 10/10 on the IMDB, but chickened out and settled for 9. From the very opening gritty black & white of the intertwined limbs of the lovers, artistically exploring each other like uncoiling snakes and then the inter-cut of a scarred and scorched fatality of the Hiroshima bomb, then the sober and poetic voice-over of a French woman....

Yes, I was hooked and I am again, five years later, viewing again for the second time. I've many, many more world cinema films under my belt these days and my knowledge of them has expanded enormously, but Hiroshima Mon Amour will always hold a special place within me.

It might be the photographer in me - some of images and compositions are absolutely arresting - and I'm not talking about the highly detailed studies of human deformity or of singed corpses either, or perhaps the poet in me. There is a clockwork pace of languid calm about it all, that is highly compelling - the Japanese architect and the French actress talking openly, candidly, slowly, as only lovers seem to be able to do in the best films, about their lives. Her experiences in France. Her previous loves.

There's a real sense of Carl von Dreyer's superb sense of simplicity and harrowed beauty plus a Francois Truffaut gift for storytelling. That this is Alain Resnais' first film is quite extraordinary.

The title, is so apt - It is a love story, a beautiful one and also a terrible one.
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