Hiroshima mon amour is one of the great poetic French films of all time that also became the major catalyst for the French New Wave using several innovative techniques such as several flashbacks, documentary footage and it's uniquely non linear storyline. Hiroshima mon amour was directed by the great French director Alain Resnais, and with a remarkable screenplay by Marguerite Duras, (which was nominated for an Academy Award) this film can be looked at as a series of literary conversations on a 36 hour period of a love affair between a married French actress (Emmanuelle Riva), referred to as 'She', and a married Japanese architect (Eiji Okada), referred to as 'He'. This film was made only fourteen years after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and when watching this postmodern war film once again there are much deeper themes dwelling underneath the romantic storyline that documents the couples tragic history on their memories and forgetfulness.
Hiroshima mon amour in many ways is the story of two separate tragedies, one massive and global, the other small and private. Hiroshima mon amour’s reputation as a milestone in the movement of the French New Wave is both a blessing and a curse, as it is a difficult and challenging film for many modern viewers to take in, and its heavy and monumental subject matter can be emotionally draining. Unlike other films of the French New Wave most famously Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless which is much more freewheeling, and accessible to get involved in with its spontaneous edits and quick jump cuts; Hiroshima mon amour, like several of Resnais other films is much more intellectually challenging and emotionally devastating. The early part of Hiroshima mon amour recounts the disturbing aftermath of the bombing on Hiroshima in the style of a documentary as it flashes to news reel footage showing the effects of the Hiroshima bomb, in particular the loss of hair and the remains of some of the victims. The insertion of the documentary footage is interesting because Resnais was originally going to make a short documentary about the atomic bomb, but eventually decided to make it a feature-length film.