A frail, unnamed priest (Laydu, an untrained actor) is assigned to his first parish--Ambricourt, a small and only somewhat religious town. He does as saintly priests are known to do--simply accepting the people around him as they are and attempting to strengthen their faith, while
himself living a life of poverty, with bread and wine the only food he can eat without falling ill. His major achievement is bringing a withdrawn countess out of her hatred for God and into a state of peacefulness.
Robert Bresson, returning to the screen after a five-year absence, succeeds in capturing the literary spirit of George Bernanos' book and retelling it in a cinematic language. It is a brilliant adaptation, remaining faithful to Bernanos without resorting to harmful omissions or additions, allowing
its audience to enjoy the identical spiritual experience as the reader of the novel. DIARY OF A COUNTRY PRIEST shared the top prize at the Venice Film Fest with Kurosawa's RASHOMON. It is definitely not a film for everyone's tastes--Bresson's work is known for its slow, meditative pace--but a
brilliant picture all the same.
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