The young wife of an aging priest falls in love with his son amidst the horror of a merciless witch hunt in 17th-century Denmark.The young wife of an aging priest falls in love with his son amidst the horror of a merciless witch hunt in 17th-century Denmark.The young wife of an aging priest falls in love with his son amidst the horror of a merciless witch hunt in 17th-century Denmark.
Anne's passion was doomed from the start:her situation recalls that of Phaedra:both are pure even in sin,both are victims of an implacable heredity.Even before Martin's appearance ,the over-possessive mother leaves her no chance at all.
Remarkable sequences: the old woman's "trial",her tortures,her screams (I'm not afraid of Heaven or Hell ,I'm afraid to die!" Her death at the stake ,with Ann looking through the window pane ,and realizing it's an omen.The children singing terrifying canticles about God's wrath.
The minister beginning to wonder if his faith is strong enough and the wife's infamous revelation.
The nature which was a refuge, the only sunlight the lovers could get,becomes misty ,almost dark,as the young man has lost all his hopes and illusions."No,Ann says ,it all begins" It's the seventeenth century and Ann is too ahead of her time.She and the old woman are the real human beings in the movie:the minister and his sinister mother are already dead when the film begins as much as the dying man he comforts in his last hour .Martin has got himself tangled up in remorse,superstitions (You've got a magic power) and if life means rebellion and fight ,his surrender leaves him a living dead.
The old woman ,the "witch" ,is afraid to die,which is human:Jeanne D'Arc herself,another "witch" which inspired CT Dreyer had her moments of doubt and fear,and she abjured to save her life .
"Vredens Dag" can still grab today's audience.This is a must.
- Jun 28, 2006