Wednesday, September 03, 2008
ANGELS OF THE STREETS (1943, France, Robert Bresson)
ANGELS OF THE STREETS ("Les Anges du péché" "Angels of Sin" 1943, France, Robert Bresson, screenplay with Jean Giradoux / Père Bruckberger)
A wealthy Parisienne joins the Sisters of Bethany, who make no distinction between the ex-prisoners they seek to rehabilitate and other nuns, and develops an intense relationship with an unrepentant prisoner who commits murder immediately upon release. Lacking the director's stylistic distinctives (which would emerge full-blown two films later, in DIARY OF A COUNTRY PRIEST), an extraordinary debut nonetheless, filmed under the German occupation – story collaborator Bruckberger was both a Dominican priest and a famed member of the French Resistance. Dave Kehr: "The spiritual themes – confession, absolution, salvation – are explored through visual and dramatic paradoxes, as Bresson draws parallels between a life in prison and a life in God, and finds his final image of freedom in a pair of handcuffs."
A MAN ESCAPED; LEON MORIN, PRIEST