Salient: At Victoria University College, Wellington, N. Z. Vol. 24, No. 10. 1961.
Sir,—The Fine Arts section of our Varsity paper is indeed a fine part of the publication, and I have in the past enjoyed, and sometimes agreed with, the views Murray White and his staff put forward. But his report on Hiroshima mon Amour has prompted me to write in defence of this film (which impressed and moved me greatly) and all those who genuinely praise it.
I am sure that Mr White's condemnation of the artistic and moral qualities in this film stem from his admitted lack of understanding and his aversion to the high praise it has received from critics all over the world.
It is to Mr White's credit that he is not swayed by the opinions and in this he has considerably more courage than some of the professional critics whose blind acceptance of other's views he so rightly despises. But unfortunately he has let his hatred of the criticism turn into a criticism of the film itself, an attitude which is, of course, deplorable.
For the other area of judgment—his lack of understanding—I can be far more sympathetic. It is too easy for us as students to suppose that, because we are developing amongst the thought of great scholars, we must therefore reach personal maturity far ahead of our natural time. Because of this we are often led into false, hastily-formed judgments of things we do not understand.