Play Dates

September 17 – 18    Vancouver, BC    THE CINEMATHEQUE

Au Hasard Balthazar Play Dates


France, 1966
: Robert Bresson
Producer: Mag Bodard
Cast: Anne Wiazemsky, Walter Green, François Lefarge, Philippe Asselin
Screenwriter: Robert Bresson
Cinematography: Ghislain Cloquet
Music: Franz Schubert (Sonata n.20 ) performed by Jean-Joel Barbier
Jazz and songs: Jean Wiener
Genre: Drama
Black & White
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
Language: French with English subtitles
Running Time: 95 minutes

A little donkey is suckled by its mother, then baptized “Balthazar;” a girl and boy say goodbye at the end of summer: a vision of paradise. Years pass and the now-teenaged Marie (Anne Wiazemsky) finds herself drifting into more and more destructive situations, including involvement with a local juvenile delinquent; while Balthazar moves from owner to owner, some relatively kind, some cruel, some drunkenly careless.

Awards and Recognition:
Golden Lion (Venice Film Festival, 1966)
"One of the 20 great films of the 20th century" (BFI Sight & Sound Critics & Filmmakers Poll, 2002)
"One of the 10 greatest films of the 20th century" (Village Voice Critics Poll, 2000)

Reviews and Quotes 2

"One of the great, if not the greatest of, living directors; if he had made no film other than Balthazar, he would deserve the title."
- Molly Haskell

"Everyone has their favorite [Bresson film]. Mine is the heartbreaking Au Hasard Balthazar - a movie that transforms the death of a donkey into the most tragic and sublime cinematic passage I know. Bresson's supreme masterpiece and one of the greatest movies ever made."
- J. Hoberman, Village Voice

"No film has ever come so close to convulsing my entire being. It stands by itself as one of the loftiest pinnacles of artistically realized emotional experiences."
- Andrew Sarris

Back to Top