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Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Art Alert: Silent French classic The Passion of Joan of Arc to screen in Cairo at Cimateque

Directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer, the film presents a historical record of the trial of Joan of Arc

Ahram Online , Friday 5 Oct 2018
The Passion of Joan of Arc
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The 1928 French classic silent film The Passion of Joan of Arc will be screened twice, on Sunday 7 October and Tuesday 9 October, at Cimatheque - Alternative Film Centre in Cairo.

The film is a historical portrayal of the trial of Joan of Arc (AD 1431), who was charged within heresy and eventually executed, before eventually being canonised in 1920.

This highly acclaimed and controversial -- for the clerical and government authorities -- at the time of its release, the film looks deeply into the "ecclesiastical jurists attempt to force Jeanne to recant her claims of holy visions," the IMDb clarifies.

Directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer (as Carl Th. Dreyer), the film brought critical acclaim to Maria Falconetti in the lead role of Joan, a surprising success for an actress who worked mainly in theatre.

The Passion of Joan of Arc was Falconetti's second and last role in the cinema.

The film garnered the NBR Award for Top Foreign Films from the National Board of Review (USA, 1929).

Due to the controvercsal portrayal of Joan, the film went through several cuts angering the director who nevertheless did not manage to defend his version of the work .

The series of misfortunes continued and a few months after its release, a fire at UFA studios in Berlin destroyed the film's original negative. Dreyer reconstructed the film from the remaining pieces of the negative fusing them with unused scenes.

Again, in 1929, a lab fire destroyed this version of the film.

Three more versions patched from a variety of the film's remains were created by other directors, but rejected by Dreyer. 

Though there are no records that of any of Dreyer's works were transported to Oslo, a surprising discovery happened at one of the city's mental institution in 1981 as the original version of the film was found at the canisters in a janitor's closet.

This version has been re-edited and screened to great acclaim.


Sunday 7 October, 7pm
Tuesday 9 October, 4pm

Cimatheque - Alternative Film Centre
19a Adly Street, Downtown, Cairo, Egypt, Cairo, Egypt

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