Exhibition of photos by actress who starred in “Hiroshima, Mon Amour”

by Yasushi Morita, Staff Writer

An exhibition of photos taken by Emmanuelle Riva, the actress who starred in the movie “Hiroshima, Mon Amour,” a film set in the city during its period of reconstruction after the atomic bombing, will be held in Hiroshima from November 25 to December 7. Ms. Riva, a French actress, took about 500 photos of daily life in the city while shooting the movie in 1958.

On October 12, almost a month prior to the opening of the exhibition, the event organizers arranged a tour of locations where Ms. Riva had taken photos as well as a presentation to promote the exhibition.

About 20 people participated in the tour and strolled to several locations, including Eba Port, with cameras that included old-fashioned models similar to the one Ms. Riva used. During the tour they referred to each photo taken by Ms. Riva and clicked away with their cameras while appreciating the scenery where the same shrine and narrow lanes remain from 50 years ago.

At Funairi Community Center, Chihiro Minato, professor of Tama Art University, who was involved in the discovery of Ms. Riva’s photos, delivered a speech. He called for support for the exhibition, stating, “Emmanuelle Riva’s photos, which depict daily life in Hiroshima in the 1950s, are valuable artifacts of that era since the number of photos showing the way of life of ordinary citizens in post-war Hiroshima, along with their candid expressions, is surprisingly small. We truly hope the exhibition will be a great success.”

The exhibition will be spread over several locations in downtown Hiroshima, including the Hiroshima Prefectural Art Museum and smaller art galleries.

(Originally published on October 13, 2008)