Robert Bresson

Mouchette

Mouchette

Robert Bresson plumbs great reservoirs of feeling with Mouchette, one of the most searing portraits of human desperation ever put on film. Faced with a dying mother, an absent, alcoholic father, and a baby brother in need of care, the teenage Mouchette seeks solace in nature and daily routine, a respite from her economic and pubescent turmoil. An essential work of French filmmaking, Bresson’s hugely empathetic drama elevates its trapped protagonist into one of the cinema’s great tragic figures.

Film Info

  • Robert Bresson
  • France
  • 1967
  • 78 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.66:1
  • French
  • Spine #363

Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer
  • Audio commentary by renowned film scholar, critic, and festival programmer Tony Rayns
  • Au hasard Bresson, a half-hour documentary about the director, including behind-the-scenes footage of Robert Bresson directing Mouchette
  • “Traveling,” a segment from the cine-magazine TV series Cinéma, featuring on-set interviews with Bresson and actors Nadine Nortier and Jean-Claude Guilbert
  • Original theatrical trailer, cut by Jean-Luc Godard
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • Plus: A new essay by writer Robert Polito

New cover by Sarah Habibi

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer
  • Audio commentary by renowned film scholar, critic, and festival programmer Tony Rayns
  • Au hasard Bresson, a half-hour documentary about the director, including behind-the-scenes footage of Robert Bresson directing Mouchette
  • “Traveling,” a segment from the cine-magazine TV series Cinéma, featuring on-set interviews with Bresson and actors Nadine Nortier and Jean-Claude Guilbert
  • Original theatrical trailer, cut by Jean-Luc Godard
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • Plus: A new essay by writer Robert Polito

New cover by Sarah Habibi

Mouchette
Cast
Nadine Nortier
Mouchette
Jean-Claude Guilbert
Arsène
Marie Cardinal
Mother
Paul Hebert
Father
Jean Vimenet
Mathieu
Credits
Director
Robert Bresson
Based on the novel by
Georges Bernanos
Screenplay
Robert Bresson
Producer
Anatole Dauman
Cinematography
Ghislain Cloquet
Editing
Raymond Lamy
Set designer
Pierre Guffroy
Original music by
Jean Wiener
“Magnificat” by
Claudio Monteverdi
Conductor
R.P. Émile Martin
Costume designer
Odette Le Barbenchon

From The Current

Mouchette: Girl, Interrupted
Mouchette: Girl, Interrupted

“Between thought and expression”—as Lou Reed wrote in the Velvet Underground song “Some Kinda Love”—“lies a lifetime.” Mouchette, and maybe all Robert Bresson’s inexhaustible, majestic films, transpire in that puzzling space “betw…

By Robert Polito

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Once There Was Everything
Once There Was Everything

The director of the newly released Columbus takes a close look at how doors open onto philosophical mysteries in the films of French master Robert Bresson.

By Kogonada

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Hands of Bresson
Anahita Ghazvinizadeh Pays Homage to Bresson
Anahita Ghazvinizadeh Pays Homage to Bresson

Anahita Ghazvinizadeh’s short film Needle, which won the 2013 Cinefondation prize at Cannes, premieres today on the Criterion Channel as part of our weekly Short + Feature. I first met Anahita through programming the short at the Chicago Internatio…

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Robert Bresson

Writer, Director

A singular, iconoclastic artist and philosopher, Robert Bresson illuminates the history of cinema with a spiritual yet socially incisive body of work. Famously dubbed a “transcendental” filmmaker (along with Yasujiro Ozu and Carl Dreyer) by Paul Schrader, Bresson is notable for continually refining the strict precision of his style—abolishing psychology, professional actors, and ornate camera work, and instead concentrating on the rigid movements of his “models” (as he called his actors) and the anguished solitude of his martyred characters. While the alternately tender and brutal allegory Au hasard Balthazar is widely considered Bresson’s masterpiece, he had a long, visionary career that began in the forties and ended in the eighties, and was full of consistently fine films—the period drama Les dames du bois de Boulogne, the ascetic character study Diary of a Country Priest, and the minimalist tragedies Pickpocket and Mouchette among them.