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4.3
4,457 Ratings

Au hasard Balthazar

Directed by Robert Bresson
France, Sweden, 1966
Drama

Synopsis

Chronicles the life and death of Balthazar, a donkey, from an idyllic childhood through to adulthood as a downtrodden beast of burden. An unfettered view of human cruelty, suffering and injustice, filtered through the eyes of a donkey.

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Au hasard Balthazar Directed by Robert Bresson
Bresson withholds traditional emotional crescendos, strengthening audiences’ connection to Balthazar, who perhaps look to him as a barometer for what they should be feeling. Such desire for orientation is human nature, which is what Bresson deconstructs.
July 16, 2018
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Bresson never falls into melodrama, even at times when the tension is heightened: like when Gerard chases Marie out of a car as he tries to sexually advance on her. It’s a quiet scene—only Jean Wiener’s gentle piano score fills the ears. Bresson is brilliant in finding poetry rather than dismay in such moments and as in all of his films, one must look past the austerity to find the beauty.
November 23, 2016
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What Balthazar experiences of human nature is both pure and limited: the embrace of a lonely young woman, the unprovoked attack of an angry young man, and the work of the farms whose owners worry over money. He is only a donkey, and therefore something much more.
November 22, 2016
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