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Directed by Robert Bresson

France 1943 96 mins In French

Bresson’s first feature hints at the themes for which his later films would become famous: isolation, suffering, martyrdom, and the struggle for redemption and grace. A sophisticated young woman (Renée Faure) joins a Dominican convent dedicated to the rehabilitation of criminal women and devotes herself—to the point of obsession—to “saving” a bitter and rebellious young convict (Jany Holt) sent there for rehabilitation. In the ritual, discipline, and austerity of the convent, the savior and the saved gradually adopt each other’s course of advancement and retreat. “Rarely have the seemingly opposite worlds of the spiritual and the erotic received such sublime, ennobling treatment”—David Thompson.