Joan the Maid II: The Prisons

[Published August 1st, 2019, The Hollywood Reporter]


The key sequence in "The Prisons" — the coronation of the Dauphin at Reims — has a similarly taxing tenor. In what feels like real time, we watch as Charles VII and a gaggle of bishops go through the ceremonial motions. Kneel. Lay prostrate. Mitres on. Mitres off. It's tediously repetitive, often comical (particularly whenever Rivette cuts to the eerily enthralled mob of spectators) and entirely captivating. Joan's presence is reduced, like so many around her, to that of onlooker. The Dauphin's ascension is one of her God-given tasks and she might as well be in the nosebleeds of a sporting event or a Streisand concert. Her deity is most certainly not in the details.


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