The version available to audiences now, the original non-censored cut of the film, was found in a mental institute in Oslo in 1981.
In contrast to the several and various later remakes made, Dreyer chooses to focus solely on the last few hours of Joan of Arc's life in his film. Maria Falconetti's portrayal of the French folk heroine and Roman Catholic saint is intensely emotional and almost too hard to watch. Captured by the British and on trial for the substantial role she played during the Hundred Year's War, we watch her come to terms with both her king and her god seemingly deserting her. Her resilience to deny her connection with god and her final refusal to conform is deeply affecting.
Supplementing Falconetti's impressive performance with his great sense of style, Dreyer's cinematography is both modern and befitting of the subject matter.
Not much else can be said about this masterpiece, other than recommending that everyone should watch it and be thankful that it still exists after all this time.
By Movie Parliament Minister of History,