Cinema: The Road to Heaven

Pickpocket. French Director Robert Bresson is a Christian cinemascetic who in 29 years has made only seven movies. None of them is a masterpiece, but the best of them (Diary of a Country Priest, A Man Escaped) are luminous meditations on the life of man in the sight of God. In Pickpocket, a picture so original in style that it sometimes seems downright peculiar, Bresson propounds a harrowing paradox: that man must sin in order to be saved, that the road to heaven is paved with bad intentions.

The plot is a palingenesis of...

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