Saturday, August 20, 2011

Fukushima, Mon Amour

Fukushima, Mon Amour
—for Marguerite Duras, Alain Resnais

HE: You saw nothing in Fukushima. Nothing.

(To be used as often as desired. A woman’s voice, also flat, muffled, monotonous, the voice of someone reciting poetry, replies:)

SHE: I saw everything. Everything.

(The woman’s hand tightening on the shoulder again, then letting go, then caressing it. The mark of fingernails on the darker skin.)

(As the film opens, two pair of bare shoulders appear, little by little. All we see are these shoulders—cut off from the body at the height of the head and hips—in an embrace, and as if drenched with ashes, rain, dew, or sweat, whichever is preferred. The main thing is that we get the feeling that this dew, this perspiration, has been deposited by the atomic “mushroom” as it moves away and evaporates. It should produce a violent, conflicting feeling of freshness and desire. The shoulders are of different colors, one dark, one light. Fusco’s music accompanies this almost shocking embrace. The difference between the hands is also very marked. The woman’s hand lies on the darker shoulder: “lies” is perhaps not the word; “grips would be closer to it. A man’s voice, flat and calm, as if reciting says:)

SHE: The hospital, for instance. I saw it. I’m sure I did. There is a hospital in Fukushima. How could I help seeing it?

HE: You did not see the hospital in Fukushima. You saw nothing in Fukushima.

(Then the woman’s voice becomes more…more impersonal. She sees the mutilated bodies, skin, burned hair, waterlogged victims like wax models.)

SHE: Fukushima flooded, destroyed, radiated…..

HE: What Fukushima? Fukushima doesn’t exist.

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