Skip to content

Directed by Robert Bresson

France 1966 95 mins.

By 1966 Robert Bresson could be comfortably grouped into the category of “masters of French cinema,” having already made such heralded films about men in solitary situations as Diary of a Country Priest, A Man Escaped, and Pickpocket. With Au Hasard Balthazar, however, Bresson turns his focus to the animal world through a plain spoken and ultimately tender portrait of the life a donkey, Balthazar, who lives a quiet existence on a rural farm alongside his caretaker, Marie (a radiant Anne Wiazemsky). When the pair are separated following a series of unfortunate circumstances, the film becomes a couplet of existential longing, Bresson focusing on the transcendent moments that emerge forcefully in spite of yet often due to human cruelty. “Everyone who sees this film will be absolutely astonished, because this film is really the world in an hour and a half.”—Jean-Luc Godard. (French with English subtitles)

Read Roger Ebert’s review of the film (3/19/2004)

The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.