“Mouchette offers evidence of misery and cruelty. She is found everywhere: wars, concentration camps, tortures, assasinations.” A fourteen year old girl in rural France lives a dreadful life. Her mother is dying and her father is an alcoholic. She is forced to provide most of the care for her baby sister. When a half-witted poacher, who thinks that he has killed the town policeman, encounters Mouchette, he tries to use her to establish an alibi. Bresson sets up Mouchette’s persona without any redeeming qualities. With her short pigtails and icy eyes, she is the antithesis of feminine. Here Bresson has distilled one of his great themes down to its essence: the crushing of a human spirit through the force of a social order based on domination and material necessity. Mouchette is strong-willed, ignorant stubborn, but always striving to love and be loved. The entire story takes place in one day, just as the film compresses the director’s ideas about the crushing weight of “earthly” forces on the soul into the simplest of forms. Mouchette is a devastating film. There are no signs that our lead character has achieved inner peace. In essence, we are Mouchette, foundering and incomplete, seeking redemption from the misery of existence, incapable of articulating the pain, resigned to our owman private hell.

Robert Bresson

Robert Bresson (from the work of Georges Bernanos)

Ghislain Cloquet

Raymond Lamy

Argos Films

Jean Vimenet
Jean-Claude Guilbert
Maria Cardinal
Nadine Nortier
Paul Hebert

Claudio Monteverde
Jean Wiener

11th Festival on Wheels
CINEMA AND Anarchism