Having now re-watched "Au Hasard Balthazar," I can say that this film provided one of the most profoundly emotional experiences I've had with a film since watching "Tokyo Story."
I had watched it several months prior, and it was my first Bresson. I didn't know what to think after seeing it, as it was a wholly unusual style of filmmaking from what I had seen before, what with Bresson's idiosyncratic technique. Now having had more experience with Bresson, his style, and his themes, the palpable emotion pouring from every frame of this film became overwhelming.
In the opening five minutes, the viewer sees a sickly, apparently crippled girl taking medicine as she lays in a bed. The film cuts to Jacque and Marie sitting on a swing, and in response to the injustice of her illness, her inability to join them, the girl bursts into tears. And so did I. It's pure, emotional filmmaking at its finest.