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1,195 Ratings

Donkey Skin

Peau d'âne

Directed by Jacques Demy
France, 1970
Drama, Family, Fantasy


In a magical land, a widower king decrees that he will wed his princess daughter, because she’s the only woman able to match his former queen’s beauty. To dodge the incestuous union, the princess—with the help of a magical fairy—disguises herself as a donkey and escapes to a neighboring kingdom.

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Donkey Skin Directed by Jacques Demy
The glories of Donkey Skin lie in the ruptures between the irresolvable conflicts brought on by inappropriate desire and the raptures of costume and production design, lighting and camera placement, melody and voice.
April 13, 2020
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Donkey Skin is not just a challenge to fairy-tale traditions; Demy also uses it to build on the experimental fantasy work of Cocteau and his own previous films. The saturated colors and the operetta-like features of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967), which make of the provincial town an unreal, magical space of love, anticipate Demy’s use of color and the marvelous in Donkey Skin.
July 28, 2014
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To qualify it as a minor work though seems a great disservice, as anyone who’s seen the film knows there’s nothing slight about it. It’s required viewing for anyone remotely interested in understanding Demy, but even for those with simpler aims DONKEY SKIN is a willfully bizarre lark that rises above any “so bad it’s good” pigeonholing.
February 28, 2014
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