Joan of Arc
2019, Bruno Dumont, France, 137 min.
With Lise Leplat Prudhomme
"There is a God and his name is Bruno Dumont. His piously poisonous sequel to last year’s best film, JEANNETTE: THE CHILDHOOD OF JOAN OF ARC, is artier, holier, and will give you Catholic goose bumps."—John Waters, Artforum
Following his eccentric musical JEANNETTE: THE CHILDHOOD OF JOAN OF ARC, French iconoclast Bruno Dumont returns to the fifteenth century and the life of Joan of Arc with this stand-alone feature detailing Joan's arrest, trial, and execution. Picking up Joan's story following her military successes, JOAN OF ARC initially finds a teenage Joan (played by ten-year-old Prudhomme, returning from JEANNETTE) locked in a struggle over leadership with the French military before the young martyr is whisked away to the imposing halls of the Basilique Cathédrale Notre-Dame d’Amiens to be tried for heresy before a panel of ghoulish, stuttering religious authorities. Working from the same cycle of plays by Charles Péguy that provided the inspiration for JEANNETTE, Dumont's comparatively somber sequel is another left turn for the director, switching out the heavy-metal calisthenics of his prior film for a suite of synthesizer ballads by acclaimed French songwriter Christophe and wringing pathos from Prudhomme's tremendous performance as a young woman whose faith remains unwavering under fire. In French with English subtitles. (CW)
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