Part history lesson followed by re-enactments with actors, this film 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
Director Benjamin Christensen originally planned to write the script with the help of historical experts, but that plan fell through after he discovered that most of the experts he had in mind were against the making of the film. 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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Re-released in 1941 in Denmark, with a filmed introduction by director Benjamin Christiensen, in which he explains the film. Though the reissued version does use some intertitles for the dramatic scenes, they use wording that is often very different from the intertitles of the original 1922 version. See more »
The writer and director Benjamin Christensen discloses a historical view of the witches through the seven parts of this silent movie.
In the beginning, there is a slide-show alternating intertitles with drawings and paintings to illustrate the explanations of the behavior of pagan cultures and in the Middle Ages regarding their vision of demons and witches.
Then there is a dramatization of the situation of the witches in the Middle Ages, with the witchcraft and the witch-hunts.
Finally Benjamin Christensen compares the behavior of hysteria of the modern women of 1921 with the behavior of the witches in the Middle Ages, concluding that they are very similar.
"Häxan" is incredibly perfect for a for a 1922 movie. Like in a thesis, he exposes his point of view based in his study of the theme along the time. The reconstitution of the witches in the Middle Ages is amazing. The last part with the comparison with the hysteric women is funny in 2010, but it was the reality in 1921. My vote is eight.
Title (Brazil): "Häxan - A Feitiçaria Através dos Tempos" ("Häxan - The Witchcraft Through the Time")
Note: On 16 Aug 2018 I saw this film again.
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