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, Antoine Balpêtré, Jean Riveyre, Leon Arnel, Marie Monique Arkell
  • 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 Wish I Was Here

    Wish I Was Here

    Zach Braff writes, directs and stars in his belated second feature about a man who begins to re-examine the relationships in his life after his father falls ill

  • Film4 A Walk Among The Tombstones

    A Walk Among the Tombstones

    Ex-New York cop turned unlicensed private detective Matt Scudder (Liam Neeson) hunts down two ruthless kidnappers, who target the wives of mid-level drug dealers with ready cash

  • Film4 Neighbouring Sounds

    Neighbouring Sounds on Film4

    Life in a middle-class Brazilian neighbourhood changes upon the arrival of an independent private security firm in Kleber Mendonca Fliho's assured debut on Film4

  • Film4 Ferris Bueller's Day Off

    Wheels In Motion Season On Film4

    It's a parade of motorcycles, trains and automobiles on Film4 as the Wheels In Motion Season gets rolling

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Joe Cunningham's 10 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