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Au hasard Balthazar

Robert Bresson’s pared-down style elicits extraordinary pathos from this devastating tale of an abused donkey passing from owner to owner.

Drama 1966 95 mins Not rated

Director: Robert Bresson


Animal protagonists are traditionally the preserve of sentimental stories for children, but while Bresson’s tragic masterpiece about the travails of a donkey has the simple force of a fable, it presents a brutally pessimistic vision. Punished, maltreated, used, loved, Balthazar is put to work by one keeper after another, bearing silent witness to the folly and petty cruelties of his human masters.