CHANNEL 4 4SEVEN E4 MORE4 FILM4 4MUSIC 4oD

Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • TBC
  • Drama
  • 1950
  • 110 mins

Diary Of A Country Priest

Diary Of A Country Priest

Synopsis

A sick young priest struggles to fit into a hostile rural community in Robert Bresson's sombre film about religious devotion

About

A turning point in the career of one of European cinema's most uncompromising talents, Bresson's sombre adaptation of George Bernanos' novel uses an amateur cast to document the spiritual salvation of a dying priest.

The nameless cleric (Laydu) arrives in the small French village of Ambricourt where, subsisting solely on bread, sugar and wine, he's met with indifference by villagers who try to get cheap funerals out of him. Idealistic in the extreme, the priest brings a bitter, atheist aristocrat round to an acceptance of God before succumbing to his own fatal stomach cancer.

Comparatively talky by Bresson's standards, Diary Of A Country Priest (Journal D'Un Curé De Campagne) eschews conventional plot, instead relying on grave recitations from the priest's journal to demonstrate how his purity of spirit is at odds with a harsh, Godless world.

Bresson was a director who believed in the transcendental properties of film and he was unafraid to tackle issues rarely dealt with. Here the result is tightly focussed, ruthlessly austere and in the final image - of a single, secluded cross - immensely powerful.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Claude Laydu, Marie Monique Arkell, Antoine Balpêtré, Leon Arnel, Jean Riveyre
  • Director: Robert Bresson
  • Writer: Robert Bresson
  • Producer: Robert Sussfeld, Léon Carré
  • Photographer: Léonce-Henri Burel
  • Composer: Jean Jacques Grünenwald

In a nutshell

Bleak, complex and undeniably demanding, this is a rewarding example of a singular talent stretching himself and his medium to the absolute limit.

by Jon Fortgang

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4

    The Day He Arrives

    Comedy-drama from South Korean director Hong Sang-soo. A film director visits a friend in Seoul, but his trip begins to resemble a romantic version of Groundhog Day

    On Film4: 6 Nov 1:30AM

  • Film4

    In Another Country

    South Korean director Hong Sang-soo's drama stars Isabelle Huppert in three separate stories about French women who travel to a Korean seaside town.

    On Film4: 3 Nov 12:00AM

  • Film4

    The Debt on Film4

    Helen Mirren, Sam Worthington & Jessica Chastain star in John Madden's Nazi-hunting thriller

  • Film4 Evil Dead

    Halloween Weekend on Film4

    Two nights of spooks, shocks and scares to celebrate Halloween Weekend on Film4

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Joe Cunningham's 11 recommendations for LFF 14

    Unfortunately I haven¿t been jet setting around the world this year to the various exciting international film festivals, but that¿s what makes the London Film Festival¿s compilation approach to progr

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Michael Leader's 11 recommendations for LFF 2014

    One of the best things about the London Film Festival¿s smorgasbord approach to programming is that, amongst the world premieres and gala screenings, there¿s an eclectic collection of exciting films o

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Share