Godard’s Alphaville (1965) is often described as a science fiction film that is set in the future, but is really a commentary on contemporary French society. I would like to propose, however, that it is actually a meditation on the past. On the surface, Alphaville concerns the “strange adventures” of a secret agent named Lemmy Caution (played by American B-movie actor Eddie Constantine) who is sent on a mission to destroy Alpha 60, a giant computer that controls the lives of the inhabitants of the titular city. Along the way, he meets Natasha von Braun (played by Anna Karina) and he helps her to remember the meaning of words such as “conscience” and “amour” that have been erased by the logical machinations of Alpha 60. On a deeper level, however, the style of the film seems haunted by Germany’s cinematic past (for example, the high contrast lighting of German Expressionism) while its plot contains many veiled references to the Nazi era (the numbers tattooed on all the women, the execution scene, the SS button on the elevator, etc.) and thus it is preoccupied with the country’s history as a fascist nation as well. Therefore, even though Alphaville is set in the distant future, it seems to be a commentary on and perhaps a metaphor for the mistakes that were made during the most horrific period of German history.