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(1967) Fourteen-year-old Mouchette (Nadine Nortier) doesn’t say much — she won’t even sing in school, though she does throw clods of dirt at classmates — as she cares for her ailing mother and baby brother, and as her father nightly trucks in smuggled booze. Not an idyllic existence, but then things can get worse. Adapted from a novel by Georges Bernanos (Diary of a Country Priest), both a sympathetic and a brutally unsentimental portrait. Tied with Buñuel’s Belle de Jour in a critics’ poll as the best French film of its year.
“SUBLIME! Another of the legendary director’s tales of holy innocence.”
– New York magazine
“To not get Bresson is to not get the idea of motion pictures… In Mouchette, the world itself is a mystical stage. Like any genius, Bresson made rules in order to break them.”
– J. Hoberman, Village Voice
“Achieves an intense purity of a kind that few directors essay, let alone achieve.
The simplicity is radical, not facile, and the result is an extraordinary spiritual meditation.”
– Tony Rayns, Time Out (London)
“One of the purest Bressons. Its effect as you watch it is beautifully unforgiving; as you recall it, brutally radiant.”
– Richard Corliss, Time
“A faultless film...a fusion of realism and allegorical fable. Mouchette’s isolation and intensity of her suffering is conveyed not only in the images but through Bresson’s brilliantly orchestrated soundtrack.”
– Peter Morris
"Cinema's most heartbreaking portrait of reclusion."
– Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out New York
“I loved it!” – Ingmar Bergman