In this 1966 Robert Bresson film, Balthazar the innocent donkey passes through the hands of several cynical, brutal or indifferent owners, eventually dying, a donkey-saint. Jean-Luc Godard said of the film that it was “the world in an hour and a half”.
Roger Ebert, the film critic, begins his 2004 review of the film as follows: ‘Robert Bresson is one of the saints of the cinema, and “Au Hasard Balthazar” […] is his most heartbreaking prayer. ‘
And Susan Sontag wrote: “Bresson is interested in the forms of spiritual action—in the physics, as it were, rather than in the psychology, of souls… . Bresson’s Catholicism is a language for rendering a certain vision of human action, rather than a ‘position’ that is stated.”