Directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer and released in it’s home country of Denmark in 1943.
A visceral portrayal of a woman finding love in amongst a set of violent witch hunts in seventeenth century Denmark. Not as nearly as chilling as Dreyer’s earlier Vampyr but just as powerful, if not more so, than his much earlier work Passion Of Joan Of Arc.
Carl Th. Dreyer is well known for many things, one of which is the performances he gets from his actors and it is no different here. The entire cast display fine ranges of abilities throughout the picture. Despite the 17th century setting, it stays similar with many of the themes brought up in Ordet (although a later work of Dreyer) mostly concerning religion, beliefs and family ties. The lighting is pitch perfect in every scene and the cinematograpy is astonishingly atmospheric – the camera is almost a character itself the way it glides alongside the characters.
Not a complete masterpiece but among my favourites of Dreyer’s work. I am positive that his silent works along with his last film Gertrud are the films I will connect with most but I have still yet to see these.