Emmanuelle Riva (Cheniménil, 1927 – Paris, 2017) achieved worldwide fame for her role in Alain Resnais’ masterpiece, Hiroshima mon amour (1959). However, that powerful performance cast a long shadow over her subsequent career, which comprised some fifty feature films, as well as appearances on TV, radio and the stage.
Her other bookend role was in Michael Haneke’s Amour, which won her a César and Oscar nomination in 2013. Five decades apart, both films were disturbing for their audiences and times. Emmanuelle Riva was a sombre actor who eschewed the easy path, drawn more to the shadows than to the light.
Emmanuelle Riva was an extraordinary woman, an artist who set her bar very high. We have lost an unforgettable voice, a voice inhabited by a love of words and poetry.
— Frédérique Bredin (Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée) —