Pickpocket, Directed by Robert Bresson
Lux Productions, December, 1959 (France)
Screenplay: Robert Bresson
Starring: Martin LaSalle, Marika Green, Jean Pélégri, Dolly Scal, and Pierre Leymarie
Where do we fit into the universe? How can you be certain that your destiny has been fulfilled? What is sacrificed along the way?
Jeanne (Marika Green): Do you believe in nothing?
Of all the victims of Michel’s thievery in Robert Bresson’s Pickpocket, perhaps it is the viewer who is most duped. Because what you think you see as you watch this film is a series of petty pickpocket crimes, a simple story of theft, and an obsessive compulsion to perfect the tricks of the trade. But through Bresson’s manipulations, questions of morality surrounding these acts take a detour along the way, leaving nothing but the raw exposure of identity. You have not experienced a story about crime and punishment. No, no, this is a story about being adrift in a universe that does not judge. The universe is merely a place where human beings intersect randomly as they travel along on their desperate journeys, each looking for the same thing: simply, a place to call home.