Robert Bresson plumbs great reservoirs of feeling with Mouchette, one of the most searing portraits of human desperation ever put on film. Faced with a dying mother, an absent, alcoholic father, and a baby brother in need of care, the teenage Mouchette seeks solace in nature and daily routine, a respite from her economic and pubescent turmoil. An essential work of French filmmaking, Bresson’s hugely empathetic drama elevates its trapped protagonist into one of the cinema’s great tragic figures*.
Penelope Houston wrote:
[…]Mouchette is hardly more articulate than her predecessor as scapegoat in Bresson’s last film, the donkey Balthazar. And, as with Balthazar’s more mysterious progression to- wards his destiny, Bresson imposes belief not in any theoretical idea of grace or goodness, but through the total concentration of his imagery: a wood fire crackles, a lorry drives noisily past, a hand stretches out to a glass, a man walks by with a gun, eyes glance at us and look nervously away. In the opening shots, a snare is laid in the woods and a trapped pheasant struggles in a wild flutter of wings. Even at this stage, one is aware that these shots are going to contain the theme of the film: but the pheasant is a pheasant before it’s a sym- bol, and the parallel is quite dispassionate.
+Commentary by Tony Rayns
3.04GB | 1h 21m | 956×576 | mkv