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$7 Member  $12.50 Regular


(1983) “If I was God, I would pardon the whole world.” The progress of a forged 500 franc note, at first casually passed off, but ultimately leading to the arrest of an innocent, bribery, firing, imprisonment, marriage breakup, and multiple murders. Loosely adapted from a Tolstoy story, this was octogenarian Bresson’s final work.



"A MASTERPIECE! It returns to some of the themes of his earlier work—the notion of stolen grace from Pickpocket, the suppression of scenes in favor of a continuous flow of action from A Man Escaped—but there is also a new passion and electricity in Bresson's minimalist images; it nowhere feels like the work of an 80-year-old man... Working his sound track as assiduously as his visuals, Bresson once again makes us realize how little use most films make of the resources of the cinema."
– Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader

"MIND-BLOWING! Hits with the effect not so much reflecting a cleansing of the soul, but rather a ransacking."
– Eric Henderson, Slant Magazine

"Bresson captures the moral weight of small gestures in brisk, graphically precise images, and conveys the cosmic evil of daily life through one of the all-time great soundtracks, full of the rustle of bills and the clink of change, the click of a cash register and the snap of locks—these noises resound like the rattle of diabolical spirits, and the exchange of labor and goods for money comes off as original sin itself."
– Richard Brody, The New Yorker

"Filming with his usual tranquil, austere feeling for the miraculous, Bresson still manages to make most other film-makers appear hysterical over-reachers; at nearly 80, his power to renew our faith in cinema is as firm as one could wish for. Gold, pure."
– Geoff Andrew, Time Out (London)

"Bresson—who was eighty-two years old when the film came out, and clearly in no mood for mellowing—frames the acts of wickedness, both great and small, with a terrifying calm. Prepare to be haunted by his closeups of objects: a wallet, a ladle, a bowl of hot coffee, an axe. They might almost be guilty themselves."
– Anthony Lane, The New Yorker