This great film, made with uncompromising honesty and devastating reality, is, according to Jean-Luc Godard, "the world in an hour and a half."
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Perhaps the greatest and most revolutionary of Bresson's films, Balthazar is a difficult but transcendently rewarding experience, never to be missed.
To cut to the chase, Robert Bresson's heart-breaking and magnificent Au Hasard Balthazar (1966) -- the story of a donkey's life and death in rural France -- is the supreme masterpiece by one of the greatest of 20th-century filmmakers.
If in Bresson's films nothing ever seems out of place or superfluous it's because he strove to find the essential truth of the image. Not an image or sound is wasted -- or offered up in self-glorification -- and from such seeming simplicity there arises a world of feeling.
1966 French masterpiece -- the finest, most deeply personal work of a filmmaker who has been compared, justifiably, to both Dostoyevsky and Bach.
Bresson suggests that we are all Balthazars. Despite our dreams, hopes and best plans, the world will eventually do with us whatever it does.
To see Au Hasard Balthazar is to understand the limits of religious literalism in movies -- the limits, even, of movies themselves. Bresson pares everything away until all that's left are the things we do and the hole left by the things we could have done but didn't.
The final scene of Balthazar's demise is one of cinema's most moving and haunting moments.