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The Story

Introduced by Max Berghouse
Lawyer, film critic and film scholar

A priest helps a disillusioned war widow during WWII. Sometimes regarded as his first ‘mature’ work, Melville’s quiet film explores the psychology and humanity of the priest (a soulful and restrained Jean-Paul Belmondo) and the woman (an intense Emmanuelle Riva) through a series of moral, aesthetic and theological discussions set against the meticulously detailed period of the Occupation. Shot by regular collaborator Henri Decaë and Jean Rabier, with assistant direction from Volker Schlöndorff.

Synopsis by Adrian Danks.






Jean-Paul Belmondo, Emmanuelle Riva, Irène Tunc, Marc Eyraud


Jean-Pierre Melville

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