Country life -- France -- Drama, Girls -- France -- Drama, Working class -- France -- Social conditions -- Drama



Nadine Nortier, Jean-Claude Guilbert, Marie Cardinal, Paul Hébert,

Also screens in In Focus: Robert Bresson

Mouchette is a visual study of a state of mind. Based on a book by Georges Bernanos (author also of The Diary of a Country Priest), it has affinities with Balthazar in its depiction of the limits of quiet suffering and humiliation a living being can endure. In a French village painted in all its charmlessness, fourteen-year-old Mouchette has been denied a childhood by an alcoholic father and a dying mother. Despised and rejected, she observes the adult world from a position of extreme isolation; like the donkey Balthazar, she has no language in which to express her despair. A measure of defiance is brought out in her complicity with the village poacher, Arsène, but he takes cruel advantage of her affection. This final lesson in the callousness of adults informs Mouchette’s first, and last, act of open rebellion, a pure, elegiac enactment of Bresson’s redemptive pessimism.

Judy Bloch
  • Robert Bresson
Based On
  • Nouvelle histoire de Mouchette by Georges Bernanos

  • Ghislain Cloquet
  • French
  • English subtitles
Print Info
  • B&W
  • 35mm
  • 80 mins
  • Rialto Pictures
  • Janus Films/Criterion Collection

CineFiles is an online database of BAMPFA's extensive collection of documentation covering world cinema, past and present.

View Mouchette documents  

Chantal Akerman: the pajama interview (interview), LOLA Press, Nicole Brenez, 2012

States of grace (article), Village Voice, J. Hoberman, 2005

Mouchette (program note), Cinematheque Ontario/a division of Toronto International Film Festival Group, 1999

The poetry of precision: the films of Robert Bresson (program note), Cinematheque Ontario/a division of Toronto International Film Festival Group, James Quandt, 1998

Robert Bresson (press kit), Pacific Film Archive, 1998

Mouchette (program note), 1974

Balthazar, Mouchette and Bresson (article), Daily Iowan, James Dudley Andrew, 1970

Mouchette (press kit)

Mouchette (press kit), Argos Films

Mouchette (flyer)

Displaying 10 of 18 publicly available documents.

View all Mouchette documentation on CineFiles.