Captured French Resistance fighter Andre Devigny awaits a certain death sentence for espionage in a stark Nazi prison. Facing malnourishment and paralyzing fear, he must engineer an ...
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Mouchette is a young girl living in the country. Her mother is dying and her father does not take care of her. Mouchette remains silent in the face of the humiliations she undergoes. One ... See full summary »
A reconstruction of the trial of Joan of Arc (based entirely on the transcripts of the real-life trial), concerning Joan's imprisonment, interrogation and final execution at the hands of ... See full summary »
A forged 500-franc note is cynically passed from person to person and shop to shop, until it falls into the hands of a genuine innocent who doesn't see it for what it is - which will have ... See full summary »
Sylvie Van den Elsen,
A million miles away from 'Camelot' or 'Excalibur', this film ruthlessly strips the Arthurian legend down to its barest essentials. Arthur's knights, far from being heroic, are conniving ... See full summary »
Laura Duke Condominas,
A young woman kills herself, leaving no explanation to her grief-stricken pawnbroker husband. We learn in flashback about how they met, married, and how she failed to adapt her lifestyle to... See full summary »
Captured French Resistance fighter Andre Devigny awaits a certain death sentence for espionage in a stark Nazi prison. Facing malnourishment and paralyzing fear, he must engineer an extraordinary escape, complicated by the questions of whom to trust, and in the absence of options, how to kill? Written by
When the film was shot, the Montluc prison was still an operating prison. The prisoners had to be evacuated to other facilities for two weeks during the shooting of the film on location. The prison was definitively closed in 2009. It is now a memorial. See more »
Simple yet practically "spiritual" in its focus on humanity.
Bresson's command of the cinematic language...and more importantly, his restraint... make this a very powerful story of one man's determination to find meaning in his actions, focused goal, and adherence to his beliefs.
Presumably tipping off the viewer with the title (A Man Escaped) we already suspect how it will end, and therefore the tension isn't in the final twists of the story, but rather, his journey to that place.
Narrative stripped down of all melodramatic trappings, the film manages to reveal a larger truth about man's struggle against unknowable odds, his struggle with himself, and his resolve to move forward. A couple of the side-characters are from the church, or pastors, which give the ongoing conversations in the common areas an added resonance to "grace" and a possibility of transcendental deliverance. Even though the lead character doesn't seem to truck much with religious faith.
He has his own - in his resolve to escape.
It's appropriate that we barely know why the lead character is in prison, only that he is already on the way there when the film starts. (And even then, tries a failed attempt to run from the car that is transporting him. So much for back-story. The character is revealed through his subsequent actions.)
A simple beautiful film focused on humanity at its most desperate, spare, and focused.
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