Part history lesson followed by re-enactments with actors, this film takes depicts the history of witchcraft from its earliest days through to the present day (in this case,1922 or thereabouts). The result is a documentary-like film that must be among the first to use re-enactments as a visual and narrative tool. From pagan worship to satanic rites to hysteria, the film takes you on a journey through the ages with highly effective visual sequences.Written by
Due to the type of emulsion of the film stock used, the blue in many of the actors' blue eyes did not register, giving their eyes a glazed, unnatural appearance. See more »
The skeletal horse-like creature wandering around during the sabbath is clearly being moved about by a couple of stage hands, hidden under the blanket that covers its "body". The feet of the crew member at the front of the monster are visible in one shot. See more »
Poor little hysterical witch! In the middle ages you were in conflict with the church. Now it is with the law.
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I found this 1922 "documentary" to be amazing in it's inovative and creative portrayal of witchcraft in the middle ages. Scenes of nudity and torture made this film very controversial in 1922 and caused it to be banned as well as greatly edited in later versions. Criterion has done a great job of preserving the film as it was intended to be seen with censored footage restored, an excellent tinted print, a corrected "projection" speed, a new score that recreates the music played at the original Danish premiere, and some interesting extras. The 1968 William Burroughs narrarated version is also included here and it's pretty ridiculous. The jazz soundtrack is just so very wrong. But still, it's interesting to see, kind of like the "Love Conquers All" version of Brazil. I think that anyone who is interested in film and film history will find this dvd facinating.
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