Bresson manages the difficult feat of simultaneously using Balthazar to put human cruelty under the microscope, whilst respecting the ‘non-human-ness’ of Balthazar by refusing to translate a donkey’s experience of the world into the dinky Disney-eque terms of the human. It reminds me of what Gayatri Spivak said: 'All are equal but all are not the same'. This film is a moving demonstration of that principle.
A film filled with endless poetry and unforced symbolism. This is a work about the objectivization of, not only animals, but of women, children, sickness, wealth and religion. Looking at Balthazar being eaten alive by the problems in his world is like looking oneself in the mirror, while society turns innocence and purity to suffering and blind cruelty. A true work of art from one of the greatest directors.
Il y a quelque chose de définitivement bouleversant dans la souffrance des bêtes lorsqu'elle est infligée par l'homme. Bresson choisit d'aborder la cruauté de l'existence à travers la vie d'un âne, un animal humble, la proie des mauvais traitements, le témoin des errances des hommes, quelquefois aimé, le plus souvent maltraité. Un film qui prend aux tripes.
I truly enjoy abstract and surreal experiences. With that said, the plot here is absurd, and not in a good way. Apart from Anne Wiazemsky the performances aren't captivating (to say the least), which does not help. Basically, a story of sadistic people obsessed with a donkey... There are a couple of promising moments of greatness, certain dialogues or the cinematography, but overall the film left me disappointed.