This modernist masterwork began as a documentary commission from Japan’s Daiei Studios, secured for Alain Resnais by producer Anatole Dauman, but Resnais decided that the bombing of Hiroshima and its impact needed a fictional narrative. He brought writer Marguerite Duras onto the project and worked with her to create a story—of a French actress (Emmanuelle Riva) who goes to Hiroshima to make a film and has an affair with a Japanese architect (Eiji Okada)—that would unfold “in two tenses… the present and the past coexist.” Few films have had such a lasting, wide-ranging impact. Hiroshima mon amour is a devastating experience on every level: visually, sonically, emotionally, intellectually.
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