(out of 5)
An epic of intimate proportions, beautifully directed by Alain Resnais. It’s mostly conversations, post-lovemaking, between a Japanese businessman (Eiji Okada, who learned French phonetically for the film) and a French actress (Emmanuelle Riva) on location making a film about the Hiroshima bomb. She tells him about her tragic love affair with a German soldier during World War II and the reprisals she faced from her village, opening herself up emotionally in a way that she hasn’t done in the years since it happened. Marguerite Duras’s script is the height of erotic cinema, ages ahead of Jean-Jacques Annaud’s The Lover which was also based on her writing and made more than thirty years later. Like Antonioni’s L’Avventura, this unconventional film contributed to a new film language of story, image and character.
Directed by Alain Resnais
Screenplay by Marguerite Duras
Costume Design by Gerard Collery