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La Passion de Jean D’Arc (1928)

Heretics, Revolutionaries, and Reformers: A Film Series

Sunday, December 3, 2017, 3:00pm

IU Cinema

In La passion de Jean d’Arc, Dreyer draws on historical records to depict the vulnerability and strength of the cross-dressing warrior-mystic who led the French to victory against the English during the Hundred Years’ War (1337–1453). Arguably, La passion is as much a study in the moral topography of the human face as it is the epitome of courtroom drama. Its daring cinematography, which speaks eloquently even without dialogue, has been a lasting influence on arthouse and mainstream directors as diverse as Walter Salles, Atom Egoyan, and Michael Mann. Print courtesy of Academy Film Archive. (35mm Presentation)

Commemorating the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing of the 95 theses on the door at Wittenberg—an act of dissent that is often taken as inaugurating the Protestant Reformation—this series tells four stories of religious dissidents, reformers, and revolutionaries in the centuries surrounding Luther’s catalytic act. Each of these films engages the dangers of speaking out against or trying to reform powerful political or religious institutions. These films depict the fluid relations between marginalized figures and centers of power and between the sometimes conflicting authorities of law and of conscience. And each story invites us to consider what might be at stake in speaking one’s conscience, critiquing authorities, articulating dissent, calling for reform, or challenging the status quo—not only in the pre-modern world but also, perhaps, in our own. Films in the series include Becket (1964), A Man for All Seasons (1966), Luther (2003), and La Passion de Jean D’Arc (1928).

This series is sponsored by The Medieval Studies Institute, The Renaissance Studies Program, the Departments of Religious Studies and English, the College Arts and Humanities Institute, and IU Cinema.