The true story of a French Resistance worker's escape from imprisonment by the Gestapo in the Montluc fortress at Lyon was the inspiration for A Man Escaped: 'The story is true. I give it as it is, without embellishment,' claimed Bresson. However, by pushing through the authentic details into a more transcendental realm, Bresson in fact subtly transforms the simple story into a metaphysical meditation. This he does by introducing an unseen, transcendental force which helps the young man in simple but crucial ways: 'I would like to show this miracle: an invisible hand over the prison, directing what happens and causing such a thing to succeed for one and not another...the film is a mystery...The Spirit breathes where it will.' The kind of film which inspires awe, even in an atheist.