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How do we understand faith and prayer, and what of miracles? August 1925 on a Danish farm. Patriarch Borgen has three sons: Mikkel, a good-hearted agnostic whose wife Inger is pregnant, Johannes, who believes he is Jesus, and Anders, young, slight, in love with the tailor's daughter. The fundamentalist sect of the girl's father is anathema to Borgen's traditional Lutheranism; he opposes the marriage until the tailor forbids it, then Borgen's pride demands that it happen. Unexpectedly, Inger, who is the family's sweetness and light, has problems with her pregnancy. The rational doctor arrives, and a long night brings sharp focus to at least four views of faith. Written by
The set for the final scene in Carl Th. Dreyer's 1943 film VREDENS DAG was recreated twelve years later for the final scene of his film of this film. As well, actress Birgitte Federspiel was cast as Inger in this version of ORDET because of her facial resemblance to actress Lisbeth Movin as Anne in VREDENS DAG, allowing Dreyer to create somewhat of a reversal of the final scene in this picture. See more »
And the rest of us, all the rest of us, we go straight down to hell to eternal torments, don't we? Yes, that's what you think, isn't it?
Yes. Words, words, you have them all right.
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Before watching 'Ordet' I was not familiar with Carl Theodore Dreyer's sound films. Having previously watched his beautiful 'La Passion de Jeanne D'Arc', I knew what kind of motifs and themes were going to be prevalent - the strong female character and the emphasis on religion. However as soon as 'Ordet' started and until its conclusion, I was mesmerised and it personally hit me much more effectively than 'Passion'. What has been called by many as Dreyer's masterpiece is also my definition of a perfect piece of cinema. The relatively slow pace of the narrative and the lack of much of Kaj Munk's original dialogue may put some off, but if anything it enhances not only the emotive performances, but also the sense of uneasiness; of lost faith and of lost loved ones. In theory, the ending of this film shouldn't work, but it somehow manages to pull off the surprising and still be effective. By the conclusion of 'Ordet' you can believe that miracles can happen. Dreyer enables us to witness a miracle using a display of his faith combined with his stunning Mise en scène. I may not be sure about God, but this film made you think about the possibilities without preaching any kind of sentimentality and that in my opinion warrants a 10 rating. Essential viewing!
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