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Vredens dag (1943)

Vredens dag (1943)

Thorkild RooseLisbeth MovinSigrid NeiiendamKirsten Andreasen
Carl Theodor Dreyer


Vredens dag (1943) is a Danish movie. Carl Theodor Dreyer has directed this movie. Thorkild Roose,Lisbeth Movin,Sigrid Neiiendam,Kirsten Andreasen are the starring of this movie. It was released in 1943. Vredens dag (1943) is considered one of the best Drama,History movie in India and around the world.

In a 17th-century Danish village, an old woman is accused of witchcraft. In the shadow of her flight, capture, confession, and burning at the stake, the young wife of the town's aging pastor falls in love with the pastor's son. Her confession of this illicit affair to her husband brings on her husband's death. At the funeral the pastor's mother denounces the young widow as a witch. Will the widow's lover come to her defense, or has the day of wrath returned?


Vredens dag (1943) Reviews

  • In Majorem Gloriam Dei


    Dreyer's pictures are absolutely mind-boggling .We seem to be in a Rembrandt's or Georges de la Tour's painting.He works with his camera the way a painter does with light to create different textures ,highlights and shadows.The scenes inside the minister's house where the world is still the prey of the good/evil concept are in direct contrast to those ,luminous and pastoral,where the lovers try to reinvent life:some kind of Garden of Eden,which the apple tree on the picture has promised. 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.

  • No longer in need of restoration-- get Criterion DVD


    I had long avoided this film because I didn't want to see it in an inferior print such as that described by other reviewers. Happily, the new Criterion DVD (as I write only available in a Dreyer box set, but I expect that will change) is absolutely gorgeous. The print is just short of flawless-- a few speckles here and there-- but most importantly the tonal range is true to the superb cinematography, one of the best-looking B&W DVDs available. LOTS OF SPOILERS BELOW-- DON'T READ UNTIL YOU SEE! Having said the above, I thought I'd add something about what I think the film means. Which necessarily means spoiling the ending (not that you're likely to be in too much doubt as you watch a movie entitled Day of Wrath). At first, expecting something like The Crucible, with a clear message against religious intolerance-- which is certainly where the first part of the movie seems to be going, with obvious application toward other forms of intolerance prevalent in 1943-- I was a bit puzzled by the ending, in which Anna is not so much a victim as self-victimizing. Having seen her throughout as something of a tragic heroine, and the movie as advocating a more liberal, tolerant Christianity (which, on the basis of other Dreyer films, I assumed was his outlook), I was unsatisfied by her willful self-destruction. It was only after I did some reading (starting with Jonathan Rosenbaum's notes, where I learned that some think Dreyer was an atheist, or a rebel against his adoptive parents' atheism, or both) that I realized that the great genius of the film is its very ambiguity, the tragic ambiguity, that goes so far beyond a play like The Crucible, which assumes that everything will be all right if we stop being fundamentalists and become liberal and tolerant Christians. (Not that it wouldn't help!) Day of Wrath, it seems to me, is a depiction of how religious dogma destroys different people in different ways. The pastor-- and in the end, his son also-- is an object lesson in how a seemingly decent man can do evil if he's blinded to it by a rigid faith. That seems a clear enough message for 1943. But Anna is in an entirely different movie in some ways-- a feminist tale of sorts, in which she awakens to the reality of a female subculture of witchcraft in quiet rebellion to the male-dominated religious culture, and comes to believe that she has the powers it promises (what she really has is nothing supernatural, but an awakened sexuality as well). Her tragedy, though, is that she cannot escape her childhood belief in conventional Christianity, and at the moment when she could be free, it makes her condemn herself to death. Far from demonstrating Dreyer's actual belief in either Christianity or witchcraft (as Georges Sadoul, for one, claims), this seems to me to be as clear a statement of non-belief as anything in Bunuel.

  • One of Dreyer's (sound) masterpieces


    Carl Theodor Dreyer, as I can figure from seeing just a few of his films, is consistently the director to get me feeling extremely emotional. This one, Day of Wrath, and especially his quintessential The Passion of Joan of Arc, somehow got me to the point of tears. Not to the point of stopping the film(s) to sob, but in feeling such a strong, endearing connection to the characters (through the actor(s) playing them) through the doomed feeling over the films that got to me. Films dealing with questions of faith and religion have fascinated me for a while from the likes of Bergman, Bunuel and even Scorsese, but Dreyer taps particularly well into the plights of those to be sacrificed in the name of 'the Lord'. At times I tried to put aside my own feelings about God and religion and the like, yet it kept on sort of dragging in along with it. By getting right up into the stink-pit of hypocrisy and sheer, un-wielding judgment that religion casts upon people (in the two main cases I've seen from him women), it speaks past the realm of a religious fable and goes into the realm of the universal. Day of Wrath is as much a story of witch-hunting as it is of the doom of the outsider, of what a soul who is circumspect in centuries before would be put down as if on complete call from high. Conscience from within, who knows. Dreyer centers his story circa 17th century Denmark around Bishop Absalom (Alber Hoeberg, in a mostly haunted performance), his mother, his son Martin, and his recent wife Anne (Lisbeth Movin, not quite the face of Falconetti, but still stands powerful on its own). The Bishop deals with questions of faith, but more-so his own feelings of possible death and dread, following the catching and sacrificing of Herlofs Marte (Anna Svierkier). There is an affair between son and wife, which leads to another incredible turning point, not the least without the suspicious, un-bending old mother. Dreyer deals with the story of this family very simply and delicately, yet with a certain razor's edge that you know may be coming around the bend. Like in the times he filmed this, circa Nazi-Germany dominated world war 2, it's hardly the safest, especially to those who don't conform to certain ways. And then it all leads back to God, and love, or lack thereof. Dreyer strikes very early on with the emotional powerhouse moments. Svierkier was the perfect choice to play the part of Herlofs Marte. Such humanity comes through her performance, as an old woman who says outright that she's not a witch ("I don't fear Heaven or Hell, I fear only Death"), is given the brush-off by the Bishop despite her pleas. Like with 'Passion', Dreyer ends up getting far more of a moving scene involving the torture of another person just by the mere suggestion of it, a hint even. He does it with audio this time, as opposed to a montage of images, and it's just as effective (a camera pans across a room of the Church's watchers, so to speak). While it's arguable if the scenes involving her are the most arresting emotionally- the plight of the everyday folk- the latter scenes bringing to a head the tragedy of Absalom, Martin, and Anne, doesn't lose its strength either. This is kept up by Dreyer almost in spite of itself. He and his cameraman Karl Andersson keep a deliberate pacing in the film, a kind of aesthetic in tune likely with his silent-film days. It's a story not rushed at all, and gives some of the most beautiful shots in any of his films; the scenes of Martin and Anne by the riverside, in complete silhouette; the constant usage of medium shots still capturing the full outreach of the performers; the precious close-ups bringing forth his precise, masterful use of light and dark. The more I thought about this style, the more I appreciated it afterward, even when considering it was different than 'Passion' or 'Vampyr'. It lets the scenes sink in for the viewer, to the point of going along on this dark, fateful journey. And it also got me thinking- as I thought with Bergan's films till I saw interviews- about Dreyer and his own relationship to religion in regards to his films. The questioning is never out there in your face; it's in-between the lines of what is spoken between sinner and judger, and what it ends up feeding into society. Absalom may not be a bad man, but as a soul with his life into judging others, ones that might love him stray away. It leaves me with questions that leave bitter, difficult and long answers, which is really what the best filmmakers tend to do for me sometimes, though at the same time always keeping the dramatic &/or just theatrical aspects of the film in enough control to really hit home. Superb work.

  • like a trip back in time


    (BTW, I liked MisterWhiplash's 1/19/2006 comments.) Dreyer's "Day of Wrath" is a terrifying trip back to the early seventeenth century, only without modern conveniences like motor vehicles to get one the Heck out of a crazy community on a perpetual witch hunt. It is a brave film made under military occupation. It depicts life under totalitarianism. It is slowly paced, but not boring. The sequences up to and including the pyre scene are very moving; and certainly have inspired other films. The principal story revolves around a family of four. There's Anne as the young wife of the aging pastor; Absalon, the pastor; Merete, the pastor's mother and Martin the pastor's son. Anne is hated by Merete, one of the most unreasonable figures in the history of cinema. Unfortunately, Merete is well represented by the rest of the community, which is perpetually on the lookout for witches. So, Anne naturally fears she will be denounced. The pastor, psychopathic by today's standards, doesn't satisfy Anne in any way. So, Anne seeks it with Martin, at the risk of giving Merete some food for fodder. Dreyer depicts Anne's love very romantic. There's a scene on a rowboat, in a corn field, by the water. Each location is pleasant, hopeful, and a complete contrast to home life with Absalon. Dreyer's film achieves greatness as he opens the scant possibility that maybe Anne is really a witch after all. In so doing, he takes us emotionally back to the seventeenth century and has us judge her, just as we've seen the grim-faced clergy members do before. He is making us think like members of the Inquisition! This is a complex, brilliant movie made under Nazi occupation about totalitarianism in a parochial, seventeenth century community. It is a miracle it was made at all, and certainly inspires great interest during today's troubled times.

  • A Haunting Masterpiece


    I can't add much to what other reviewers have said, except to reiterate that this is one of the true masterpieces of world cinema. I can't comment on the print, since I saw it on the Sundance Channel. Is it a howl of rage against religious intolerance, or any intolerance? Yes. Is it a comment on the role and powerlessness of women in a male-controlled society? Yes, in part, but to stop there would be too facile an interpretation. It is also a comment on how women can also obtain power, of a vicious, destructive sort, and use it to control and destroy others; I am thinking, of course, of Absalon's mother Merte, the true villain of the film. It is also about how those who are miserably set in their ways are threatened by, and will ultimately destroy, those who display a joie de vivre and a yearning for freedom. Perhaps the saddest line in the film is when Anne comments that when he married her, Absalon took away her youth, something she is trying to recapture in her affair with Martin. I know this wasn't Dreyer's intention, but while watching this film I couldn't help but think of the plight of women under the Taliban and other repressive regimes, and that even as I write this a young woman in Nigeria is under a death sentence by an Islamic court for having sex outside of marriage; it is a sad reminder that what happens in this film is still going on today, and perhaps will still be going on until the earth ends. The true tragedy of this film comes at the very end, when we see that Anne has come to believe she is what everyone else thinks she is. 10/10


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