A 35mm print of Robert Bresson’s empathetic masterpiece AU HASARD BALTHAZAR (1966) will screen this week in Westwood, and philosopher and ethologist Vinciane Despret—author of What Would Animals Say If We Asked the Right Questions? —will be on hand to discuss the film.
Balthazar is a donkey that we follow throughout his working life with many masters, especially his first owner—Marie (Anne Wiazemsky), the farmer’s daughter—who gives him his name.
“Although the donkey has no way of revealing its thoughts, that doesn’t prevent us from supplying them—quite the contrary; we regard that white-spotted furry face and those big eyes, and we feel sympathy with every experience the donkey undergoes. That is Bresson’s civilizing and even spiritual purpose in most of his films; we must go to the characters, instead of passively letting them come to us.” — Roger Ebert
This screening is part of the UCLA Film and Television Archive program Europe in Four Themes—Animals.
Friday, February 23, at 7:30 pm.
Hammer Museum, Billy Wilder Theater
10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Westwood, Los Angeles.
Above: Balthazar and Anne Wiazemsky in Au hasard Balthazar.