Sunday, April 10, 2011

Au hasard Balthazar (1966)

Au hasard Balthazar (1966)

Genre: Drama
Director: Robert Bresson
Starring: Anne Wiazemsky, Walter Green, François Lafarge, Jean-Claude Guilbert
Duration: 95 min.
Rating: 7.8/10

Following the life of the donkey Balthazar as he passes from owner to owner, many of them treating him cruelly.  His sad predicament as a beast of burden parallels the life of his first human owner, Marie, who like Balthazar suffers the sins of man.


Au hasard Balthazar roughly translated as 'By Chance Balthazar', is Robert Bresson's seventh film.  It is a challenging film, on the surface a simple story about the life of a donkey, but it is rife with poetic imagery and symbolism.  As a self identified barbarous heathen, I found the heavy handed religious suggestions on display here slightly off-putting.  Also, like in Diary of a Country Priest, the film is an almost endless stream of suffering.

Without a doubt, this is a very impressive artistic work, and there are some very profound moments.  Especially the ending, which is one of the most beautiful and sublime scenes ever put to film.  But the journey to get there is a demanding experience on the viewer.  


Brut said...

Looks solid.

Moviemonstrosity said...

no idea what to think of it

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