In his ruthlessly clear-eyed final film, French master Robert Bresson pushed his unique blend of spiritual rumination and formal rigor to a new level of astringency. Transposing a Tolstoy novella to contemporary Paris, Largent follows a counterfeit bill as it originates as a prop in a schoolboy prank, then circulates like a virus among the corrupt and the virtuous alike before landing with a young truck driver and leading him to incarceration and violence. With brutal economy, Bresson constructs his unforgiving vision of original sin out of starkly perceived details, rooting his characters in a dehumanizing material world that withholds any hope of transcendence.
"Harrowing crime film about the persecution of a working class man by the rich." - Michael Grost, Classic Film & Television
"A harrowing scour of ideological cinema." - Michael Atkinson
"This is a return to the extremes of crime and punishment that Bresson last used in Pickpocket; and as in that film, crime is a model of redemption and prison a metaphor for the soul." Time Out
"Bresson -- who was eighty-two years old when the film came out, and clearly in no mood for mellowing -- frames the acts of wickedness, both great and small, with a terrifying calm." - Anthony Lane, New Yorker
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