Film / The Passion of Joan of Arc

A classic silent film from 1928, by Carl Theodor Dreyer. Generally considered one of the greatest films ever made (to the point of being named the ninth greatest film of all time in the 2012 Sight & Sound Critics' Poll), as well as considered to have one of the greatest filmed performances ever, given by Maria Falconettinote .

Joan of Arc is put on trial by the English. They attempt to get her to back down from her claims of holy visions. She refuses, and is eventually burned at the stake. The film's plotline is highly conventional, being adapted straight from the actual records of Joan of Arc's trial, and essentially serving as a highly condensed version of the real event. The film's real strengths come in the form of Dreyer's excellent direction, Falconetti's performance, and the fact that you'll barely be able to see either of those things though all of your tears.

Famously, this film survives only due to one single copy which was found in a closet in a Norwegian insane asylum. How strange is that?

You can find it on YouTube, but if you can, shell out the cash for the DVD or seek it out on cable. The current version is only 82 minutes, but be sure to mark out two full hours on your PDA; odds are you'll need some quiet time after.

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