Hiroshima Mon Amour

1959 | Drama/French New Wave | 90 minutes | In French and Japanese with English subtitles


Hiroshima Mon Amour is basically a series of conversations between a French actress (Elle)  and a Japanese architect (Lui). From graphic newsreels, viewers first witness the devastation and the horrors after the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Elle and Liu become intimate as they talk about their memories,  forgetfulness, and failed relationships. Hovering over all the talk is the awareness by both lovers of how the bomb affected so many. Lui’s remembrance is more personal. He was conscripted into the Imperial Japanese Army and his family was in Hiroshima on that day. Directed by Alain Resnais.  

Emmanuelle Riva (Elle) / Eiji Okada (Lui)
Why Stream This Film?
It’s considered a landmark in cinema history. American film critic Leonard Maltin described the film as The Birth of Nation of the French New Wave.
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 97%
  • Metacritic Score: 94
  • Belgian Film Critics Association: Grand Prix
  • Cannes International Film festival: Nominated, Best Screenwriter (Marguerite Duras)

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Director Resnais’ interpolation of actual Hiroshima newsreel footage, of scarred bodies and deformed limbs, forces the viewer to reconcile the documentary horror with poetry. Riva’s performance, chief among the film’s triumphs, is electrifying.
Michael Phillips

Chicago Tribune

A young Emmanuelle Riva broke through as a star with HIROSHIMA MON AMOUR, Alain Resnais’ exquisitely beautiful and harrowing meditation on war and love.
Kate Muir

The Times (UK)

HIROSHIMA MON AMOUR weeps. It whimpers and bleeds sorrow from every pore that it’s gorgeous, perfect, powerful, horrifying, hellish nightmarish frames hold. Then suddenly it soars, full of life and love and passion—before sinking into existentialism, grief, guilt, isolation, and a relatably  chilling human fear.
Mark Woollon




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