The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)

6d281-passionarcAs cliche as it will sound, this is one of those films that transcends the years for me. It is still that powerful after so many decades.

Using low angles and numerous close ups Carl Theodor Dreyer pulled me into this story early on. It was tense and claustrophobic causing the viewer to become emotionally involved in the trial and the plight that surrounded Joan.

The actors that he chose have wonderfully expressive visages that are so distinct even with out makeup of any kind. Then there is Falconetti who undoubtedly has a pair of the most expressive eyes ever shown on the silver screen.

I watched the film without any score so the complete silence was a new experience for me, but it forced me to pay particular attention to the images. Those were enough to keep my attention by  making me squirm and empathize the entire time.

By the end of the film there is an immense connection for Joan built because she seems an innocent victim. A martyr to be sure who reflects the sufferings of Christ. That is the story of The Passion of Joan of Arc. Certainly a simple tale but a master work of silent cinema nonetheless.

I am intrigued to see more from Carol Theodor Dreyer especially because his filmography is so sparse.

4.5/5 Stars

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