Currently Obsessing Over…

Prologue to Carl Theodor Dreyer’s 1927 film The Passion of Joan of Arc:

Shot in France in 1927 by Carl Th. Dreyer, The Passion of Joan of Arc was the victim of several ordeals.  Censored before its release in 1928, the original negative was soon destroyed by fire.  A second negative reedited by Dreyer from alternate takes was also thought lost to fire.

For more than a half-century, this great classic of silent film was known only in mutilated copies, or in a sonorized version which made numerous changes to the original.

Then, in 1981, an original Danish copy, complete and in very good condition, was miraculously discovered in a closet of a Norwegian mental institution.  Thanks to the aid of Ib Monty, Director of the Danish Film Museum, and of Maurice Drouvy, who reestablished the French text, the Cinematheque Francaise has been able to reconstitute this French version, probably very close to the original.

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