Earlier releases of the film in predominantly English speaking countries such as North America and the United Kingdom translates the title of the film into "My Life To Live" and "It's My Life" respectively. Even with the slight differentiation in the construction of the title which naturally accompanies its translation, the fundamental existentialist notions remain. The core proposition of existentialism, and perhaps its most distinctive feature, states that "existence precedes essence" (Sartre, J.-P.). The accumulation of a person's life choices therefore define their very essence of being, and that person is then held accountable for actions performed, emotions experienced and of course the very words they speak. As so simply put by Nana:
"I think we're always responsible for our actions, we're free. I raise my hands, I'm responsible. I turn my head to the right, I'm responsible. I am unhappy, I'm responsible. I smoke a cigarette, I am responsible. I close my eyes, I'm responsible. I forget that I am responsible, but I am."
(Vivre Sa Vie 1962, Tableau the Sixth, "Meeting Yvette; A Cafe In The Suburbs; Raoul; Gunshots In The Streets")
Although it seems Nana has accepted her fate as a direct result of her own personal choices in life there lies within that simple logic noticeable complications unaccounted for. The circumstances which lead Nana astray, how and why she became a prostitute. Susan Sontag (1964) in "Godard's Vivre Sa Vie" states that:
"An art concerned with social, topical issues can never simply show that something is. It must indicate how. It must show why. But the whole point of Vivre Sa Vie is that it does not explain anything. It rejects causality… Godard in VIVRE SA VIE [does not] give us any explanation, of an ordinary recognisable sort, as to what led the principal character, Nana, ever to become a prostitute… All Godard shows us is that she did become a prostitute. Again, Godard does not show us why, at the end of the film, Nana’s pimp Raoul “sells” her, or what has happened between them, or what lies behind the final gun battle in the...