Nina Varsava, Processions of trauma in Hiroshima mon amour:
Towards an ethics of representation, 11 Stud. in French Cinema 111 (2011).
This article examines Hiroshima mon amour’s generative meta-representational sensibilities. I suggest that the film exemplifies an ethics of representation that resists the violence of positivist accounts of history. Resnais and Duras deconstruct the commemorative systems that hold traumatic histories in general, and Hiroshima’s singularly traumatic history in particular, in place. The film incites criticism of the injustice that archival discourses enact on the particularities of trauma, and raises questions about the ethics as well as the truth-value of conventional commemorative tropes. I argue that Hiroshima mon amour enacts an Adornian ethic through a representational (self-)deconstruction that complicates, unsettles, but ultimately does not prohibit its own closure. The film demonstrates how the integration of memory, and its incorporation into words and commemorative overtures, facilitates a reductive remembering that is always a kind of forgetting; such integration, I suggest, while to some degree falsifying reality, might be necessary if an individual or a city wishes to go on.
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