In 1928, just a few years after the canonization of Joan of Arc, the great Danish director Carl Theodor Dreyer was approached to create a film biography of St. Joan. Dreyer, who could have gone in many directions, chose to show the spiritual struggle of the Maid of Orleans. To that end he cast the stage actress Maria Falconetti, whose performance has routinely been cited as one of the greatest in all of cinema history. Dreyer's depiction of the trial of Joan is intense, deeply spiritual, and a triumph of cinema.
As J. Hoberman says in his excellent New York Times piece about the film:
"If novels like “Madame Bovary” or “Crime and Punishment” are must-reads, then “The Passion of Joan of Arc” is a cinematic must-see."
The AFS Cinema will present the film with two soundtracks. On Saturday, December 16 at 2pm the version with composer Richard Einhorn's acclaimed Voices Of Light score will play. The version with its alternate score, by Adrian Utley and Will Gregory (Goldfrapp/Portishead) screens on Sunday, Dec. 17. See showtimes for details.