Close Up

3 - 7 November 2015: Au Hasard Balthazar


Psara's Donkey
Oliver Bancroft
2011 | 7 min | B/W | 16mm

A short film about the only donkey on the Greek island of Psara to introduce one of the best films ever made.

Au Hasard Balthazar

Robert Bresson
1966 | 91 min | B/W | 35mm
Introduced by Ian Sinclair

"The title character of Au Hasard Balthazar is perhaps the most perfect example of the Bressonian "model": a donkey. Although clearly not acting, Balthazar becomes a compelling and profoundly moving protagonist. The film opens with a young Balthazar being acquired by a man with a young son and daughter. Over the course of the film, the lives of the donkey and the girl are shown in parallel as each approaches maturity.  As the film follows Balthazar from owner to owner, these figures present a panorama of human vices and virtues, and the narrative proceeds with the simplicity of a parable: the virtuous owners treat Balthazar well, and the vicious ones make him suffer." – Harvard Film Archive

Part of our Robert Bresson season