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JOAN THE MAID (I & II)
A brilliant interpretation of the story of Joan of Arc by French New Wave and post-New Wave master Jacques Rivette. With a ravishing performance from Sandrine Bonnaire as Joan, this epic about the 15th century teenager who led the French army into battle is a freshly detailed view of the passion and of the complex moral, ecumenical and power issues Joan of Arc forced to the surface. At the same time, Rivette succeeds at humanizing Joan's personal conflict in a very direct yet intimate way. The first film,
Joan the Maid: The Battles
(115 mins.) follows Joan as she leaves Domremy and tries to convince a captain to take her to the Dauphin, and ends with her first battle at Orleans. In the second part of his film diptych,
Joan the Maid: The Prisons
(126 mins.), Rivette concentrates on Joan of Arc's imprisonment, interrogation and eventual burning at the stake. Rivette emphasizes Joan's marytrdom in a poignant interpretation of her famous line, "I know what I must do but at times I don't know how." Bonnaire again plays Joan while Rivette himself appears in a cameo as the priest who blesses her just before she leaves home. In French with English subtitles.
Jacques Rivette---France---1993---241 mins.