A French actress filming an anti-war film in Hiroshima has an affair with a married Japanese architect as they share their differing perspectives on war.A French actress filming an anti-war film in Hiroshima has an affair with a married Japanese architect as they share their differing perspectives on war.A French actress filming an anti-war film in Hiroshima has an affair with a married Japanese architect as they share their differing perspectives on war.
Cold as a Cellar
As a college freshman some 45 years ago, I saw this film in the student union They had a commitment to art films. I have to say that I do remember the stream of dialog between the two characters but little about the content. I knew he (the Japanese man) had lost his family on that August day. I recall her pulling inward as he becomes a bit demanding. Watching it with mature eyes and a fresh view of the world, I was brought back to these two traumatized characters and the war that changed them forever. It begins with a discussion of the Hiroshima museum which contains pictures and artifacts from that fateful day. He keeps telling her that she has not seen Hiroshima as they lay entwined in bed. His pain is more predictable. He lost his family that day while he was away. Hers takes a more melancholy road. As she opens up, she tells the story of a love affair with a German soldier whom she would meet in all manner of places. One day she found him dying, curled up on the ground. She sits with him until he dies. New of their trysts gets out and she is ostracized by her community, her hair cropped, beaten, and thrown in a cellar by her own family. She has not told this story to anyone, including her own husband, until now. While she feels somewhat liberated the pain is too deep. The Japanese man, also married, wants her to stay in Hiroshima. The movie is about the relationship going forward with such damaged people. She repeatedly tries to escape him, but he keeps resurfacing. The sad thing is that she desires him and so it's not as if she is being stalked. Resnais is a master with the camera, using black and white contrasting images, engaging flashbacks, close-ups. One really marvelous scene is where the young woman, who has been playing a small part in an anti-war film, is nearly trampled by protesters carrying signs. Hiroshima is constantly in her face. She has been hurt so badly by the war and is carrying a load of guilt. War carries with it a loss of innocence and pain beyond the obvious. This film really captures this.
- May 21, 2014
Contribute to this page
Suggest an edit or add missing content