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Touching God

The Novels of Georges Bernanos in the Films of Robert Bresson

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Beth Kathryn Curran

Robert Bresson (1901-1999), one of the most original film-makers in the history of cinema, adapted two novels by Georges Bernanos (1888-1948), Journal d’un curé de campagne and Nouvelle Histoire de Mouchette. The Catholic novelist Bernanos and the spiritual filmmaker Bresson, each in his own way, articulate grace and redemption through the suffering and death of their heroes/heroines. As a result, the reader and the spectator come to sense the presence of God in all four works. Bresson’s techniques are presented and analyzed, as well as his later move to films without grace and redemption.