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Film / Diary of a Country Priest

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"All is grace."
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Diary of a Country Priest is a 1951 French film by Robert Bresson. The film is the story of a young, ill priest who is assigned to the village of Ambricourt, where he is unable to fit in with the locals.

Tropes:

  • The Alcoholic: The Priest isn't this, but rumors spread that he is due to the fact that his stomach can't handle anything besides bread dipped in wine.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Priest dies, but he does so with his faith in God renewed.
  • Children Are Cruel: The children of Ambricourt take a great deal of joy in tormenting the Priest. Special mention goes to Chantal.
  • Crapsack World: Ambricourt comes across as this. The Priest seems to be the only good person there.
  • From Bad to Worse: The Priest's health troubles are eventually revealed to be caused by stomach cancer, which ends up killing him.
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  • God Is Evil: Interestingly averted, despite all of the misery he experiences, the Priest says, "God is not a torturer." It's also Martin Scorsese's favorite line from the film.
  • Nice Guy: The Priest is kind to the villagers, even when they are cruel to him.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Due to his illness, the Priest is only able to consume bread dipped in wine.
  • Signature Style: Notable as the film where Bresson first developed his. Although he had previously made two features and a short, they all used professional actors. By contrast, the only character played by a professional actor in Diary Of a Country Priest is the Countess. It's also the film where Bresson started paying great attention to the sound design and started using narration.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: The Priest is this, the film is essentially about whether or not he can hold onto his idealistic beliefs despite all the misery he goes through.
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