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Hiroshima Mon Amour Paperback – February 10, 1994


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press; 1st Evergreen edition (February 10, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802131042
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802131041
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.3 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #558,598 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Maginot on June 8, 2001
Format: Paperback
As with most works of art that probe a subtle truth, "Hiroshima Mon Amour" will confuse a lot of people. On the surface, this film appears to be strange glimpse of failed romance and anti-social behavior. The characters, an unidentified French woman and Japanese man are having a brief and transitory love affair in Hiroshima, many years after World War II. Both of them are married (the man professes to love his wife) and neither is a stranger to anonymous love affairs.
Although neither party knows the other's name, they share crucial aspects of their history and identity with each other. The man is a resident of Hiroshima who was away serving in the army when the city was bombed. During the war, the woman lived in an occupied French city called Nevers and fell in love with a German soldier. When the soldier was killed the woman was punished for being a collaborator and was subsequently banished to her parents' basement for several month where in her own words she became "mad with spite".
The film opens by interweaving scenes of the man and woman making love, with scenes of Hiroshima bombing victims. This tells us that their story-particularly their love affair-is rooted in an act of unimaginable destruction. In the man's case, everything returns to the bombing of Hiroshima. When the woman tells him of the different monuments and documentary footage of the bombing she encountered, he replies that she has seen nothing. In the woman's case, her entire life was redefined the moment her German lover was killed by French partisans. The act of destruction was personally more traumatic and pivotal than the war itself. Worse yet was her tremendous sense of failure in surviving this event and being able to continue life without her lover.
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37 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Kari Sullivan on December 20, 1999
Format: Paperback
Hiroshima, Mon Amour is the screenplay for the classic French film directed by Alain Resnais. This is one of the few screenplays I truly enjoy, as Hiroshima is a wonderful story about remembering and forgetting set in the context of post-nuclear war and love.
True to the classic stream-of-consciousness style of Duras, this screenplay is a highly emotional account of a French woman's journey to Hiroshima to film an anti-war movie and the affair with a Japanese man that ensues. Throughout the course of the affair, the woman is struck with the memory of her German lover during WWII and the insanity that his death brought on.
In many ways, this is Duras at her finest. She has an uncanny ability to take specific stories and bring them to a level of universality as far as human emotion and circumstance are concerned. This is a powerful and riveting tale that is not to be missed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steven Davis on April 9, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A French woman and a Japanese man meet in Hiroshima where the woman is playing a part in a film "about Peace." Though both are happily married, they fall in love with each other and spend the night together. In the morning she tells him she must leave Japan the following day, and they will never see one another again. "You saw nothing in Hiroshima. Nothing," he tells her. "I saw everything. Everything," she insists. Their conversation is interwoven with horrific images of the atomic bomb and its aftermath.

As the day passes and the filming ends, the man persists in seeing the woman and extracting the details of a personal history that has made her suddenly so melancholy. During World War II in her native city of Nevers, she fell in love with a German soldier. As the Allies advanced upon the city the soldier made plans for her to escape to Bavaria with him, but on the day they were to leave he was shot by a resistance fighter. He died in her arms. She was accused of collaboration and had her head shaved. Insane with grief, she was locked in a cellar for months.

What this script does is give us two powerful images of war and its impact: the very public horror of Hiroshima, and the intense private tragedy of the woman of Nevers.

The book gives us Marguerite Duras's instructions to the director and background sketches on the characters. Frequently she gives options for how a scene should be shot or alternative dialogue, and footnotes tell us which choices the director, Alain Resnais, made. The numerous photographs are well-chosen to illustrate how her directions were implemented and they give a good feel for the film overall.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 1, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is absolutely stunning. The screenplay for the Alain Resnais film of the same title, it also includes Duras' own specifications for the backgrounds of the characters and the actors who portray them. A wonderful way to grab ahold of the fleeting brilliance of the film for a longer period of reflection. There's no other way to read it but in its original French!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ann on June 21, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My college student son had to read this for a French cinema class and he enjoyed it. He recommends this book.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
Heart- and soul breaking. This book has a very symbolic meaning for me. It is one of the first books I had ever read in French, also the book that once brought me and my former fiance together. (To make the melodrama complete, I am a Bosnian refugee who has lived many years in Germany, so the part about love, war and German relationships applies as well, tiens).
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