Joan of Arc (Dir. Bruno Dumont, 2019)
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In the 15th century, both France and England stake a blood claim for the French throne. Believing that God had chosen her, the young Joan leads the army of the King of France. When she is captured, the Church sends her for trial on charges of heresy. Refusing to accept the accusations, the graceful Joan of Arc will stay true to her mission.
Bruno Dumont’s decision to work with a ten-year-old actress re-injects this heroine’s timeless cause and ideology with a modernity that highlights both the tragic female condition and the incredible fervor, strength and freedom women show when shackled by societies and archaic virile orders that belittle and alienate them.
A cinematic miracle.
Jean-Michel Frodon, Slate
More than ever, Bruno Dumont’s cinema confirms its originality and wealth.
Stéphane du Mesnildot, Cahiers du Cinéma
[Joan of Arc] achieves the miraculous feat of poking at the dogmatism of religious institution, while celebrating faith in all its mysterious, obscure powers.
Leonardo Goi, The Film Stage
[Joan of Arc] is the wiser, raspier relative to the spry and turbulent Jeannette... Dumont teaches us how to experience this quite verbose film: attendant to song, glances, visual patterns, and the animated body above all else.
Blake Williams, Cinema Scope
Dumont transforms the tale into a dialectical spectacle: he stages military musters like Busby Berkeley productions, seethes at the torturers’ rationalizations, delights in hearing his actors declaim the scholars’ sophistries, and thrills in the pugnacious simplicity of Joan’s defiant responses, which reduce her captors’ pride and privilege to ridicule.
Richard Brody, The New Yorker