Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959) Script

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You saw nothing in Hiroshima. Nothing.

I saw everything.

I saw the hospital - I'm sure of it.

The hospital in Hiroshima exists.

How could I not have seen it?

You didn't see the hospital in Hiroshima.

You saw nothing in Hiroshima.

Four times at the museum.

What museum in Hiroshima?

Four times at the museum in Hiroshima.

I saw people walking around.

People walk around, lost in thought, among the photographs, the reconstructions, for lack of anything else.

The photographs, the photographs, the reconstructions, for lack of anything else.

The explanations, for lack of anything else.

Four times at the museum in Hiroshima.

I watched the people.

I myself, lost in thought, looked at the scorched metal.

The twisted metal.

Metal made as vulnerable as flesh.

I saw the bouquet of bottle caps.

Who would have thought?

Human flesh, suspended, as if still alive, its agony still fresh.

Stones. Charred stones. Shattered stones.

Anonymous masses of hair that the women of Hiroshima, upon waking in the morning, would find had fallen out.

I was hot in Peace Square.

10,000 degrees in Peace Square.

I know it.

The temperature of the sun in Peace Square.

How could you not know it?

The grass. It's quite simple.

You saw nothing in Hiroshima. Nothing.

The reconstructions were as authentic as possible.

The films were as authentic as possible.

The illusion, quite simply, is so perfect that tourists weep.

One can always scoff, but what else can a tourist do but weep?

I've always wept over Hiroshima's fate.



What was there for you to weep over?

I saw the newsreels.

On the second day, history tells us - I'm not making it up - from the second day on, certain species of animals crawled from the depths of the earth, and from the ashes.

Dogs were captured on film for all time.

I saw them.

I saw the newsreels. I saw them.

Of the first day, the second day, the third day.

You saw nothing.

Of the 15th day too.

Hiroshima was covered in flowers.

There were cornflowers and gladioli everywhere, morning glories and daylilies born again from the ashes with an extraordinary vitality unheard of in flowers before then.

I didn't make any of it up.

You made it all up.

None of it.

Just as the illusion exists in love, the illusion you can never forget, so I was under the illusion I would never forget Hiroshima.

Just like with love.

I saw the survivors too, and those who were in the wombs of the women of Hiroshima.

I saw the patience, the innocence, the apparent meekness with which the temporary survivors of Hiroshima adapted to a fate so unjust that the imagination, usually so fertile, is silent before it.

Listen. I know.

I know everything. It went on.

Nothing. You know nothing.

Women risk giving birth to deformed children, to monsters, but it goes on.

Men risk becoming sterile, but it goes on.

Rain causes panic, the rain of ash on the waters of the Pacific.

The Pacific turns deadly, and its fishermen die.

Food becomes an object of fear.

An entire city's food is thrown away.

The food of entire cities is buried.

An entire city rises up in anger.

Entire cities rise up in anger.

But against whom do they rise up in anger?

The anger of entire cities, whether they like it or not, against the principle of inequality advanced by one people against another.

The principle of inequality advanced by certain races against other races.

The principle of inequality advanced by certain classes against other classes.

Listen to me.

Like you, I know what it is to forget.

No, you don't know what it is to forget.

Like you, I am endowed with memory.

I know what it is to forget.

No, you are not endowed with memory.

Like you, I too have struggled with all my might not to forget.

Like you, I forgot.

Like you, I longed for a memory beyond consolation, a memory of shadows and stone.

For my part I struggled every day with all my might against the horror of no longer understanding the reason to remember.

Like you, I forgot.

Why deny the obvious necessity of remembering?

Listen to me. I know something else.

It will begin again.

200,000 dead and 80,000 wounded in nine seconds.

Those are the official figures. It will begin again.

It will be 10,000 degrees on the earth.

10,000 suns, people will say.

The asphalt will burn.

Chaos will prevail.

An entire city will be lifted off the ground, then fall back to earth in ashes.

New vegetation rises from the sands.

Four students together await a fraternal and legendary death.

The seven branches of the delta estuary of the river Ota drain and fill at their usual hour, precisely at their usual hour, with freshwater rich with fish, gray or blue, depending on the season and time of day.

People along the muddy banks no longer watch the tide slowly rise in the seven branches of the delta estuary of the river Ota.

I meet you. I remember you.

Who are you?

You're destroying me. You're good for me.

How could I know this city was tailor-made for love?

How could I know you fit my body like a glove?

I like you.

How unlikely.

I like you.

How slow all of a sudden.

How sweet.

You cannot know.

You're destroying me. You're good for me.

You're destroying me. You're good for me.

I have time.

Please, devour me.

Deform me to the point of ugliness.

Why not you?

Why not you in this city and in this night so like other cities and other nights you can hardly tell the difference?

I beg of you.

You have such beautiful skin.


Yes, me. Surprised?

Are you completely Japanese or not?

Completely. I am Japanese.

Your eyes are green, aren't they?

Yes, I think they're green.

You're like a thousand women in one.

That's because you don't know me.

That might not be the only reason.

I don't mind being a thousand women in one for you.


It's 4:00.


I don't know who it is.

Every day he passes by at 4:00 and coughs.

Were you here in Hiroshima?

Of course not.

That's right. How foolish of me.

But my family was in Hiroshima.

I was off fighting the war.

Lucky for you, eh?


Lucky for me too.

Why are you in Hiroshima? A film.

A film?

I'm acting in a film.

Where were you before you came to Hiroshima?


And before Paris?

Before Paris I was in Nevers.

It's in the province of Nièvre. You don't know it.

Why did you want to see everything in Hiroshima?

It interested me.

I have my own idea about it.

For example, looking closely at things... is something that has to be learned.

Would you like some coffee?

What were you dreaming about?

I don't remember. Why?

I was watching your hands.

They move when you're sleep.

Maybe that happens when you don't realize you're dreaming.

You're a beautiful woman. You know that?

You think so? I think so.

A bit worn out, no?

A bit ugly. You don't mind?

That's what I noticed last night at the café.

How ugly you were and -

And? And how bored you looked.

Tell me more.

You were bored in a way that makes a man want to know a woman.

You speak French well.

Don't I though!

I'm glad you finally noticed.

I hadn't noticed that you don't speak Japanese.

Have you ever noticed people have a way of noticing what they want?

I noticed you. That's all.

To meet in Hiroshima.

That doesn't happen every day.

What did Hiroshima mean to you in France?

The end of the war.

I mean completely.

Astonishment that they dared do it, and astonishment that they succeeded.

And the beginning of an unknown fear for us as well.

And then indifference.

And fear of indifference as well.

Where were you?

I had just left Nevers.

I was in Paris. In the street.

That's a beautiful French word: Nevers.

A word like any other. Just like the town.

Have you met many Japanese in Hiroshima?

A few, but none like you.

Am I the first Japanese in your life? Yes.


The whole world rejoiced, and you rejoiced with it.

Was it a beautiful summer day in Paris?

I heard it was. Wasn't it?

Yes, it was a nice day.

How old were you? Twenty. You?

Twenty-two. The same age, really.

Just about.

What do you do for work?

I'm an architect.

And I'm also... in politics.

Is that why you speak French so well?

That's why. To read about the French Revolution.

What is this film you're in?

It's a film about peace.

What else would you expect in Hiroshima?

I'd like to see you again.

At this time tomorrow...

I'll be on my way back to France.

Really? You didn't tell me.

It's true.

There was no point in telling you.

That's why you let me come up to your room last night.

Because it was your last day in Hiroshima.

Not at all. The thought never crossed my mind.

When you speak, I wonder whether you lie or tell the truth.

I lie... and I tell the truth.

But I have no reason to lie to you.

Tell me, do things like this happen to you often?

Not all that often.

But they happen.

I'm very fond of men.

I have dubious morals, you know.

What do you call having "dubious morals"?

Being dubious about other people's morals.

I'd like to see you again.

Even if your plane leaves tomorrow morning.

Even if you have dubious morals.



You don't want to talk to me anymore?

I'd like to see you again.

Where are you going in France? Nevers?

No, Paris. I'm never going back to Nevers.

Never? Never.

I was never younger than I was in Nevers.

Young in Nevers.

Young in Nevers.

And mad in Nevers too.

You see, Nevers is the one city in the world - the one thing in the world - I dream of most at night.

And at the same time, think about the least.

What was this madness of yours in Nevers like?

Madness is like intelligence.

You can't explain it. Just like intelligence.

It comes over you, consumes you, and then you understand.

But when it's gone, you no longer understand it at all.

Were you full of hate?

That was my madness.

I was mad with hate.

I felt I could make a career of hating.

All I cared about was hating.

Do you understand? Yes.

It's true. I guess you must understand that too.

Did it ever happen to you again?

It's over.

During the war? Right after it.

Was that one of the hardships of life in France after the war?

You could say that.

When did this madness of yours pass?

It went away little by little, and then when I had children, of course.

What did you say?

I said it went away little by little, and then when I had children, of course.

I'd like to spend a few days with you somewhere sometime.

Me too.

To see you again today wouldn't really be "seeing you again."

Such a short time doesn't count. I really would like to.

Very well.

It's because you know I'm leaving tomorrow.

That may be part of it.

But it's as good a reason as any, isn't it?

The thought of never seeing you again in just a few hours -

You were easy to find in Hiroshima.

Is it a French film?

No. International. it's about peace.

Is it finished? It is for me.

There are some crowd scenes left to shoot.

There are lots of commercials for soap.

Maybe by pressing the point -

Yes, maybe.

Here in Hiroshima we don't make fun of films about peace.

Are you tired?

No more than you.

I've been thinking about Nevers in France.

I've been thinking about you.

Is your flight still tomorrow? Yes.

Without fail? Yes.

The picture is behind schedule.

I was supposed to be in Paris a month ago.

You give me a tremendous desire to love.


Short-lived affairs.

Me too.

It's not always this strong, and you know it.

They say there's a storm coming before nightfall.







I don't like to think about you leaving tomorrow.

I think I love you.

You will come with me once more.

Answer me.

Are you afraid?

Sit down.

Are you all alone in Hiroshima?

Where is your wife?

She's in Unzen, in the mountains. I'm alone.

When is she coming back?

In a few days.

What is your wife like?


I'm a man who's happy with his wife.

So am I.

I'm a woman who's happy with her husband.

It would have been too easy.

Don't you work in the afternoon? Yes, a lot.

Mostly in the afternoon.

This whole thing is ridiculous.

Are you giving up your afternoon because of me?

Tell me. What difference can it make?

The man you loved during the war - was he French?

He wasn't French.


It was in Nevers.

At first we met in barns.

Then among the ruins.

Then in rooms.

Like anywhere else.

Then he died.

I was 18.

He was 23.

Why speak of him and not others?

Why not? No! Why?

Because of Nevers.

I'm only just beginning to know you, and from the many thousands of things in your life, I choose Nevers.

Just like that?


No, it wasn't by chance. You have to tell me why.

I somehow understand that it was there that you were so young that you didn't yet belong to anyone in particular, and I like that.

No, that's not it.

I somehow understand that it was there that I almost lost you and ran the risk of never, ever meeting you.

I somehow understand that it was there that you began to be who you are today.

I want to leave this place!

There's nothing left for us to do now but kill the hours until your departure.

Sixteen hours until your flight.

It's too much!

You mustn't be afraid.

Does "Nevers" have any other meaning in French?


Would you have been cold in that cellar in Nevers if we had loved each other?

I would have been cold.

The cellars in Nevers are cold both summer and winter.

The city slopes down to a river called the Loire.

I can't picture Nevers.

Nevers. Population 40,000.

Built like a capital.

A child can walk all the way around it.

I was born in Nevers.

I grew up in Nevers.

I learned to read in Nevers.

That's where I turned 20.

And the Loire?

It's a completely unnavigable river.

It's always empty... due to its irregular course and sand bars.

In France it's considered a very beautiful river...

due mostly to its light.

So very soft.

If you only knew.

When you're in the cellar, am I dead?

You're dead.

How can anyone endure such pain?

The cellar is small.

Very small.

The "Marseillaise" passes above my head.

It's deafening!

Hands become useless in a cellar.

They claw and scrape away at the rocks... until they bleed.

It's all you can think of to help yourself and to remember.

I loved blood since I had tasted yours.

The world passes by above my head... in place of the sky, of course.

I watch that world pass by.

Hurriedly during the week... leisurely on Sundays.

It doesn't know I'm in the cellar.

They pretend I'm dead.

Dead, far from Nevers.

My father prefers it that way, since I was disgraced.

My father prefers -

Do you scream?

Not in the beginning.

I call your name softly. But I'm dead.

I call your name anyway. Even if you're dead.

Then one day, I suddenly scream.

Loud, like a deaf person.

That's when they put me in the cellar.

To punish me.

What did you scream?

Your German name. Just your name.

The only memory I have left is your name.

I promise I won't scream anymore, so they take me back up to my room.

I yearn for you so badly I can't bear it anymore.

- Are you afraid? I'm afraid everywhere.

In the cellar. In my room.

Of what? Of never seeing you again.


I turn 20 one day in the cellar.

My mother comes and tells me I'm 20 years old.

My mother's crying.

Do you spit in your mother's face?



Afterwards, I don't remember anymore.

I don't remember anymore.

You were saying the cellars in Nevers are old and damp?

Yes, full of saltpeter.

Sometimes a cat comes in to have a look around.

It doesn't bother me.

I don't remember anymore.

Afterwards, I don't remember anymore.

How long?

An eternity.

I was so young once!

At night my mother takes me into the garden.

She looks at my head.

Every night she looks carefully at my head.

She still doesn't dare come close.

At night I can see the town square.

So I look.

It's huge.

It curves in the middle.

Sleep comes only at dawn.

Does it ever rain?

Along the walls.

I think of you... but I no longer speak of it.


Madly in love with you.

My hair grows back.

I can feel it with my hands, day by day.

I don't care.

But still, it's growing back.

Do you scream before going down to the cellar?

No. I feel nothing.

They're young.

They shave my head carefully till they finish the job.

They believe it's their duty.

Are you ashamed for them, my love?

You are dead.

I'm too busy suffering.

Night falls.

I hear nothing but the sound of the scissors on my head.

It eases the pain of your death a bit, like -

I don't know how else to say it - like for my nails, the walls, my anger.

What pain!

What pain in my heart!

They sing the "Marseillaise" all through the town.

Night falls.

My dead lover is an enemy of France.

Someone says she should be paraded through town.

My father's pharmacy is closed due to the disgrace.

I am alone.

Some of them are laughing.

I return home at night.

And then one day, my love, your eternity comes to an end.


A long time.

They said it was a long time.

The cathedral bells ring at 6:00 every evening, summer and winter.

One day I hear them.

I remember having heard them before.

Before, when we were in love, when we were happy.

I begin to see.

I remember having seen before, when we were in love, when we were happy.

I remember.

I see the ink.

I see the daylight.

I see my life. Your death.

My life that goes on, your death that goes on.

I see that the shadows take longer to reach the corners of the room... and the corners of the cellar.

About half past 6:00.

Winter has ended.

It's horrible!

I remember you less and less clearly.

Give me something to drink.

I begin to forget you.

I tremble at forgetting such love.


We were to meet at noon on the banks of the Loire.

I was to leave with him.

When I arrived at noon on the banks of the Loire... he wasn't quite dead yet.

Someone had fired on him from a garden.

I stayed by his body all that day... and all the following night.

The next morning, they came to get him and put him in a truck.

Nevers was liberated that night.

The cathedral bells rang and rang.

He grew cold beneath me, little by little.

He took so long to die!


I don't know exactly.

I was lying on top of him.

The moment of his death actually escaped me...

because at that moment and even afterwards - yes, I can even say afterwards -

I couldn't find the slightest difference between his dead body and my own.

His body and mine... seemed to me to be one and the same.

You understand? He was my first love!

Then one day I screamed again, so they put me back in the cellar.

It was warm.

I think it was then that my hatred left me.

I don't scream anymore.

I become reasonable.

They say, "She's become reasonable."

One holiday evening... they let me out.

The banks of the Loire at dawn.

People cross the bridge, in greater or smaller numbers, depending on the hour.

From afar they're nobody.

It isn't long after that that my mother tells me I must leave for Paris during the night.

She gives me some money.

I take off for Paris one night on a bicycle.

It's summer, and the nights are warm.

When I get to Paris two days later, Hiroshima is in all the papers.

My hair has grown back to a decent length.

I'm among the crowds in the street.

Fourteen years have passed.

I don't even remember his hands very well.

I still remember the pain a little bit.


Yes, I remember it tonight.

But one day I will no longer remember it.

At all.


This time tomorrow, I'll be thousands of miles from you.

Does your husband know this story?

So I'm the only one?


I'm the only one who knows!

Be quiet.

It's so nice sometimes to be with someone!


Tell me more.

Tell me.

In a few years, when I have forgotten you, and other adventures like this one will happen to me from sheer force of habit...

I'll remember you as the symbol of love's forgetfulness.

I'll think of this story as of the horror of forgetting.

I already know it.

Don't things ever stop at night in Hiroshima?

No, they never stop.

I like that.

Cities where there's always someone awake, day or night.

Sometimes we have to avoid thinking about the problems life presents.

Otherwise we'd suffocate.

Get away from me.

The sun hasn't risen yet.

We'll probably die without ever seeing each other again.

Yes, probably.

Unless, perhaps, one day... a war-


A war.

You think you know, but no.


In her youth in Nevers she had a German love.

We'll go to Bavaria, my love, and we'll get married.

She never went to Bavaria.

Let those who never went to Bavaria dare speak to her of love!

You were not quite dead yet.

I told our story.

I cheated on you tonight with that stranger.

I told our story.

You see, it was there to tell.

Fourteen years since I've tasted an impossible love!

Since Nevers.

Look how I'm forgetting you.

Look how I've forgotten you.

Look at me.

I'm going to stay in Hiroshima.

With him. Every night.

In Hiroshima.

I'm going to stay here. Here.

Stay in Hiroshima.

Of course I'll stay in Hiroshima... with you.

I'm so miserable!

I wasn't expecting this at all. You understand?

Go away!

I couldn't possibly leave you.

Stay in Hiroshima with me.

He's going to walk towards me.

He's going to take me by the shoulders.

He's going to kiss me.

He's going to kiss me and I'll be lost.

I meet you.

I remember you.

This city was tailor-made for love.

You fit my body like a glove.

Who are you? You're destroying me.

I was hungry.

Hungry for infidelity, for adultery, for lies and for death.

I always have been.

I had no doubt you'd cross my path one day.

I waited for you calmly, with boundless impatience.

Devour me.

Deform me to your likeness, so that no one after you will ever again understand the reason for so much desire.

We'll be alone, my love.

Night will never end.

The day will never dawn again on anyone.

Never again.

At last.

You're still destroying me.

You're good for me.

We'll mourn the departed day in good conscience and with goodwill.

There'll be nothing else for us to do but mourn the departed day.

Time will pass. Only time.

And a time will come... when we can no longer name what it is that binds us.

Its name will gradually be erased from our memory until it vanishes completely.

Perhaps there's a chance you'll stay.

You know very well.

Staying is even more impossible than leaving.

A week.

Three days.

Time enough for what?

To live from it? To die from it?

Time enough to know which.

There is no such thing.

Neither time enough to live from it, nor time enough to die from it.

So I don't give a damn.

I would prefer you had died in Nevers.

So would I.

But I didn't die in Nevers.

Nevers, you whom I'd forgotten, tonight I'd like to see you again.

Night after night, month after month, I set you afire... while my body was ablaze with his memory.

While my body is still ablaze with the memory of you...

I'd like to see Nevers once again.

The Loire.

Lovely poplar trees of Nièvre...

I give you up to oblivion.

Dime-store romance, I consign you to oblivion.

One night without you and I waited for day to deliver me.

One day without his eyes and she dies, the young girl from Nevers, shameless young girl from Nevers.

One day without his hands and she knows the pain of love.

Silly little girl who died of love in Nevers.

Little girl from Nevers with shaven head, this evening I relinquish you to oblivion.

Dime-store romance.

As it was with him, forgetting will begin with your eyes.

Then, as with him, it will swallow your voice.

Then, as with him, it will consume you entirely, little by little.

You will become a song.

Who is she?

A Frenchwoman.

What's the matter?

She's leaving Japan in a little while.

We're sad at having to leave each other.

I had to come.

I'll forget you. I'm forgetting you already!

Look how I'm forgetting you! Look at me!

That's your name.

Yes, that's my name.

And your name is Nevers.