Taking its cue from the world of adaption, this Joseph Roth Novella film explores faith and self. When Andreas (Hauer) a alcoholic homeless man living along the river Seine underpasses meets a benevolent man, its seems life is looking up. A gift of 200 Francs to be used to better his position but a catch of course. He must return it to the saint Therese statue in a local church. He should do this on any Sunday of his choosing and repay it. Thing is, will he ever be able to?
Ermanno Olmi took his time with the films he made. The other recent Arrow release TREE OF WOODEN CLOGS, is a study in time. It needs it too tell its tale and too envelope its ideas. Olmi uses the same tenderness here. He worked slowly in order to tease out the moment from a scene. This is art from reality, a skill indeed. Also it opens the themes with consideration. It also allowed for tender care in performance. This shows here in Rutger Hauer wonderful range.
Rutger Hauer had made his mark already in cinema with his work with Verhoven. His blue eyes and slight smirk, give you a feeling that this is a shy yet powerful man. His soft speech and lyrical lilt, make you love him as a friend. Here he uses this and markedly expands on his dynamic pain, often expressed via a body movement or his eyes. This is a skill long lost by many actors. Here it is amazing and will lead you to connect to him without feeling forced or cheated into it.
• Brand-new 4K restoration from the original negative, produced by Arrow Films exclusively for this release
• High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations of both the English and Italian versions of the film
• 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and Stereo 2.0 options for the English presentation with optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
• Stereo 2.0 audio for the Italian presentation with optional newly translated English subtitles
• Brand-new interview with actor Rutger Hauer, recorded exclusively for this release
• Interview with screenwriter Tullio Kezich
• Theatrical trailer
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: New writing on the film by Helen Chambers, author of Joseph Roth in Retrospect: Co-existent Contradictions