The Devil, Probably

Scene from the film The Devil, Probably
image from the film THE DEVIL, PROBABLY

The Devil, Probably, Robert Bresson’s penultimate film, is only his second original script, after his masterpiece Au hasard Balthazar. It tells the story of a disaffected young man whose myriad attempts to lend meaning to his life (drugs, therapy, religion, radical politics, and even sex) leave him feeling more adrift than ever in contemporary society.

When it debuted at the 1977 Berlinale, Rainer Werner Fassbinder threatened to quit the festival jury unless the film won an award, which it did: the Silver Bear—Special Jury Prize. Come time of its theatrical release, it was banned in France over fears the film would be an incitement to teenage suicide, as though Bresson’s pointedly political film were a weapon that could be aimed at the heart of the country.

“Even though Bresson has painted a dark picture of wasted youth and beauty, one comes out of the film with a sense of exultation. When a civilization can produce a work of art as perfectly achieved as this, it is hard to believe that there is no hope for it” (Richard Roud)

“[The Devil, Probably] has a purity of technique, an austere visual beauty, and a profundity and gravity that make it unique, for our time and the year when it was made, 1977.” (Chicago Tribune)

“The most punk movie ever made” (Richard Hell)

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In French with English subtitles