Robert Bresson's Le Procès de Jeanne d'Arc is a minimalistic tour-de-force. The lack of music, the close camera-work, the spare dialogue, all emphasize feelings of claustrophobia. The script is taken from transcripts of the actual trial of Joan of Arc, in the original French, of course. One gets a sense of the profound faith of this peasant girl who led the armies of France to victory over the English. Under intense scrutiny and interrogation, Joan maintains composure and despite a temporary retraction of her words, she shows remarkable courage in the face of death and condemnation.

Because the movie is very historically accurate, the viewer is treated to pretty accurate glimpse of what this historical period was actually like. Plus, watching black and white subtitled French flicks just automatically earns you mad intellectual snob points. I recommend it highly.

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