The Passion of Joan of Arc ★★★★★

''Will I be with You tonight in Paradise?''

An old English proverb states ''The eyes are the windows to the soul'', and never has that statement seemed so apt as it does with this astounding work from Carl Theodor Dreyer's silent era. Never have I seen such a powerful testament to faith under persecution as this film presents, with it's painfully tortured performance from Maria Falconetti as Jeanne d'Arc who embodies strength and devotion under heretical judgement even unto the bittersweet end.

The way Dreyer frames and focuses on the faces of his subjects is an inspired decision in finding the truth in the material and making the actors accountable to their performance. Every tear shed is like blade to the heart, every look to the sky for courage and firmness feels achingly real, and with the 'Voices of Light' orchestral accompaniment, we as the audience are placed right there in the room as a witness to the evils of fearful men who cannot recognise true belief and Godly devotion.

Dreyer created a landmark artistic statement in The Passion of Joan of Arc and one can easily see how much emphasis he placed on religion and spirituality throughout his small, yet powerful oeuvre of work. To be so transfixed on the plight of the young martyr despite knowing the end result is the absolute testament of the power of cinema, and the magic that Dreyer is still able to weave over all that are privy to it.

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