The Passion of Joan of Arc ★★★★½

The Passion of Joan of Arc is a transcendent and thought-provoking cinematic landmark. The film is not about Joan of Arc's whole life but instead the final days of it, dealing with her prosecution and death. However, we are able to learn so much about her character and her beliefs just from those events through excellent direction from Carl Theodor Dreyer. This film screams importance, every second of it feels as if you are watching a significant historical event unfold before your very eyes. Dreyer's use of close-ups on faces not only works extremely effectively in how it elevates the level of intensity, but also brought so much more power to the film. The outstanding cinematography and editing amplifies this even further. The best part of the film, however, is without a doubt Maria Falconetti's extraordinary performance as Joan of Arc. With pure expression and emotion, Falconetti delivers easily some of the most captivating, haunting and heartbreaking acting I've ever seen. Painfully human and genuine, she transfixed me throughout the 82 minute run time and left me in awe. But The Passion of Joan of Arc is even more than that. It explores the idea of divinity and the existence of it in sublime detail and fascinates throughout with its brilliant contrast of religious beliefs against political motivations. On top of that, there is the breathtaking purity of Joan, which absolutely shines through as the heart of the film, in a society dominated by men. To say this film floored me would be the understatement of the millennium. I urge you to see this cinematic triumph if you have not already, after all there is a reason why it is regarded so highly. A devastating, heartbreaking and stunningly profound depiction of faith that has warranted its place among my all-time favourites because of how impeccably it captures the essence of humanity without saying any words.

4.5/5