mouchette

Final scene from Robert Bresson’s 1967 film.

“The small town is plagued with alcoholism, marital infidelity, unbridled masculinity, violence, and moral ambivalence. Mouchette’s father and brother, we have already seen, operate by selling liquor on the black market, with complicit police that turn an indifferent eye to a crate left behind. They, like other townsfolk, are paid in shots of alcohol, consumed without speech. Following Sunday mass, the village parishioners leave church and hastily head to the bar before the bells cease to toll. Mouchette’s dying mother has to hide gin from her abusive spouse. Even the town’s interdependent poacher/warden pair, Arsène and Mathieu, bring an end to their cat-and-mouse charade in the woods by sharing a drink from Arsène’s canteen full of gin. The motif of alcohol and its abuse stands as a distinctive mark of the moral decay of Mouchette’s society; however, the corruption of this town is not limited to alcoholism… Indeed, Mouchette’s society is one of extreme decadence and lawlessness, one that is ripe for a scapegoat upon whose back it can collectively discharge the burden of its vice and one from which the victim will gladly depart.”

Read more about the film HERE.

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