Arsène’s Bite Wound Cauterization
Mouchette’s father: “She was a brave woman.”
Once upon a time the dead were embalmed. Now they’re not even washed. I know the departed go to heaven, as the curé says, but even so…. The dead were worshipped once. They were gods. Real religion, that was.
Mouchette works mud into the old woman’s rug. She whispers, “You’re disgusting, you old bitch.”
Mouchette holds the thin fabric of the dress against her body. The bottom of the dress gets caught on a bush and tears. The sound of a tractor motor can be heard. She raises her hand as if to get the driver’s attention. He looks back and continues on. She wraps the dress around her body, over her clothes, and rolls down a hill. Leaves, twigs, and dirt cling to her clothing and to the dress.
Throughout most of the film, she has worn no expression on her face. In one scene, where she appears to be enjoying riding the bumper cars, she smiles. In a few scenes, she is shown to have tears on her face (though, her expression doesn’t change). In this scene, whatever she’s thinking is her secret as her expression remains neutral. She rolls down the hill a few times before dropping into a pond at the bottom of the of hill. The camera stays fixed on the water. She doesn’t surface and music beings to play. It’s clear that this shot of the water’s surface is rewound and replayed several times to prolong the shot.