Nobuhiro Suwa’s H Story / Kirk Palmer’s Hiroshima Screen at Tate Modern

A double screening, curated by George Clark and relating to the exhibition Conflict, Time, Photography questions how memory and conflict are explored in cinema. Nobuhiro Suwa’s H Story (2001) will be shown at Tate Modern‘s Starr Auditorium together with short film Hiroshima (2007).

56 years after the end of the Second World War, filmmaker Suwa gathered together a cast and crew in his native city Hiroshima to create a remake of Alain Resnais’ 1959 classic post-war film Hiroshima Mon Amour. The original piece documents a complex and conflicting love affair that takes place in rebuilt Hiroshima, between a French actress and a Japanese architect. Suwa’s recent remake studies the trauma of conflict, and how effectively its aftermath can be represented in cinema. Drawing on the rich original screen play by novelist Marguerite Duras, Suwa’s film collapses the past and present, fiction and documentary. Working together with actress Béatrice Dalle, cinematographer Caroline Champetier and Japanese writer Kou Machida, Suwa’s H Story is a striking reflection on cinema’s ability to recall and remake the past.

H Story will be screened alongside artist Kirk Palmer’s short film Hiroshima which, made 61 years after the atomic destruction of the Japanese city, is a contemplative study of a thriving metropolis seemingly at odds with its past. The film is part of the August Shadows trilogy – preceeded by Murmur (2006) and followed by War’s End: An Island Of Remembrance (2012) – which explore the legacy of the Second World War in Japan focusing respectively on Nagasaki, Hiroshima and the island of Yakushima.

Nobuhiro Suwa: H Story, shown together with Kirk Palmer’s film Hiroshima, Friday 13 February, Tate Modern, Bankside, London SE1 9TG.

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1. Still from Kirk Palmer’s Hiroshima (2007).