Au hasard Balthazar Directed by Robert Bresson (1966)- Though there isn’t much competition, this is hands down the greatest film about a donkey ever made. Bresson’s tale of a put-upon donkey examines human cruelty, the lengths to which people can disassociate themselves from morality, and how easily people can dehumanise others, but it isn’t as focused as that. When the film finishes it feels like it has been about everything. A fool, a sinner, and an innocent all have their stories told in relation to the saintly ass at the centre of it all. Au hasard Balthazar is one of those films that really encapsulates the idea of the sublime (as defined by Werner Herzog anyway) as it doesn’t convince you point-by-point of its mission statement or point of view, the film unfolds in front of you and just puts ideas into your head. Images invoke epiphanies rather than being simple visual metaphors for whatever the directors message is. I was really reminded of Ingmar Bergman’s films just because Bresson has a similarly casual-seeming visual style which becomes intensely affecting. By that I mean things are presented quite matter-of-factly, almost simple looking, but they manage to evoke the most powerful feelings. Balthazar’s story is a truly transcendental experience.