- Actors: Anne Wiazemsky, François Lafarge, Philippe Asselin, Nathalie Joyaut, Walter Green
- Directors: Robert Bresson
- Format: Subtitled, Black & White, PAL, Anamorphic
- Language: French
- Subtitles: English
- Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1
- Number of discs: 1
- Studio: Nouveaux Pictures
- DVD Release Date: 22 Nov. 2004
- Run Time: 91 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 29 customer reviews
- ASIN: B00068OSVI
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 46,606 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
Au Hasard Balthazar 
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Robert Bresson's classic allegory won the Special Jury Prize at the Venice film festival. A donkey named Balthazar passes into the care of a number of owners, each of whom displays mankind's capacity for kindness or cruelty: a group of young girls use it as a plaything; it becomes a circus attraction; and eventually ends its days as a drug smuggler's 'mule'. Jean-Luc Godard described the film as presenting 'the world in an hour and a half'.
Top customer reviews
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All animals deserve respect--- this donkey doesn't get any and neither does the main character, Marie, during the course of the film which Besson makes a comparison in life for both.
Well that may be ok for most people but I found the whole thing awfully depressing. There's enough cruelty in this world (just check out the internet or watch tv adverts) without a French director ramming it down my throat.
To be fair to the bloke this was made in the 60's before the universal publicity we get about the cruelty to animals from all over the world.
Feeling grumpy about this allegorical tale. Three stars only.
This film comes in the middle, and many would say at the zenith, of Bresson's career.
The story gone through in a relatively short movie is amazing and the cinematography, music / sound effects are simply astounding, as is the symbolism of the movie. In spite of the message of predestination, drudgery of life (both for the donkey and the humans coming into contact with it), difficulty of adolescence etc. Bresson still manages to sneak in the odd humorous moment (the painters renting out Balthazar describing action painting).
This is not a happy movie and does not make for easy watching - as mentioned by the other reviewers Bresson did not shot movies for commercial success. But the movie is strangely fulfilling nevertheless, and one can return to it many times - something that will make you discover new elements and get a deeper appreciation of it every time you see it. In that sense it is a true masterpiece of cinema and something definitely worthwhile having on DVD.
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