A Man Escaped (1956) | 23 September 2011 | 7.00 pm

Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé ou Le Vent souffle où il veut

Dir. Robert Bresson

France 1956 | Black & white | 101 mins | Cert U | Drama

A Man Escaped (or The Wind Bloweth where it Listeth) was Bresson’s most commercially successful film and won him the award for Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival. Informed by Bresson’s own experiences as a prisoner of war, it is also the true story of André Devigny, a French Resistance fighter who escaped Nazi imprisonment having been sentenced to death. The narrative follows Devigny’s meticulous plans for escape; his reasoning with fellow prisoners who lack his courage or his vision; his temporary setbacks and the good fortune, which would eventually secure his flight from imprisonment. A gripping thriller in Bresson’s trademark stripped-back style, A Man Escaped can be read as a parable on the mystery of salvation. The protagonist has been sentenced to death – condemned - but by his own efforts, the help of others and the grace of God (or chance) he attains salvation. Despite the film’s ending being contained in its title, nothing seems certain until the finale, when, to the sound of Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, the film and its protagonist transcend to a different plane.

More info on the BFI website.