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Documentary | Short

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16 December 1947 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

The Danish Village Church  »

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Dreyer's mix of documentary with fiction presenting Denmark's medieval churches
31 July 2012 | by (São Paulo, Brazil) – See all my reviews

"Landsbykirken" or "The Village Church" takes us back to the Danish old churches built in the Middle Age and their transformations through the years and through the dominant groups of a certain period, like the Christians and the Protestants, and the new things they were modifying in those constructions.

Since there isn't much info on this short film I presume that Carl Theodor Dreyer was making a part documentary film with non actors peasants performing rituals, praying, showing how the church procedures were back at 700 years ago in those exact same places. Sounds hard to believe, but according to the narrator there's plenty of medieval churches with part of its original material still existing in Denmark. I say that it's "acting" and not a full documented work because of some scenes when it is explained the parts of the cathedral and there's one moment when it's told that during conflicts or wars people hide themselves in special parts of the church for protection, and we see people running and hiding in a compartment.

The creator of "Ordet" allows us to visualize the interiors and exteriors of many of those places, its rich architecture, making some positive remarks about how they changed through the years (the baptism sink that later evolved with a plate over it and we see a baptism performed on the same place before and after the change).

There isn't to much be said, cinematically, other than Dreyer makes a great work, a great piece of document, barely seen by viewers. This was made in the 1940's but parts of the camera work resembles silent movies techniques. An small historic film but very well made. 9/10

See it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8HLZYRRPII&feature=colike


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