(I couldn't find a thread- was going to add these thoughts to it. )
An issue that sticks with me is the thin line between love that crosses national boundaries and wartime collaboration with a hideous ideology. Here we have, in the WW2 section at Nevers, a young woman with an all-consuming individual instinct for a young man who shares her feelings. Is it a selfish urge? Should she have given more thought not only to her own personal consequences, but also to the communal good? Are her actions really worthy of the punishment- with no distinction made between collaboration for greed, power, repression, and simple love that pays no heed to its situation. As a couple they are caught at a certain moment in time and space- there's a sense of fate/chance/destiny controlling lives; the fate that condemns so many to die from the bomb, and brings the Frenchwoman and the Japanese man together. The film blurs and quietly questions clear moral boundaries, encourages us to (re)consider standard judgements.
I despise nationalism and the notion that humans must automatically obey the orders of patriotism and artificial boundaries, when we are all one race, but i also despise Nazism and everything it stood for. Is she a collaborator with Nazism or is her (and her German lover's) attitude in fact a form of resistance to Nazi nationalism and ideas of racial purity- then replicated in a very different, now acceptable, situation with the Japanese man? There seems to be an extra complexity through the fact that the Japanese were of course the Germans' wartime allies.
At the time of its release, it was widely praised as among the very greatest films; its reputation deserves to be restored. Its haunting and very beautiful handling of memory and the elusive nature of truth, along with the continuing fallout of the atom bomb, was innovative and influential and it certainly stands the test of time.