Day of Wrath
Denmark 1943, 110 min, 35mm, Dir: Carl Theodor Dreyer
Screenings:
  • Friday February 20, 2009 at 7:00PM
  • Saturday February 21, 2009 at 9:00PM
  • Sunday February 22, 2009 at 7:00PM
  • Monday February 23, 2009 at 9:00PM

"It has been said that Carl Dreyer's art begins to unfold just at the point where most directors give up, and this psychological masterpiece, suggesting a fusion of Hawthorne and Kafka, is proof. . . . The most intense, powerful film ever made on the subject of witchcraft, it explores the erotic tensions of the 'witch' and her accusers” (Pauline Kael).

Derided and misunderstood when it was first released, Day of Wrath is now counted as one of cinema's greatest works. Set in 1623, during the puritanical Danish Reformation, Wrath centres on Anne, who is trapped in a loveless marriage to a dour pastor. She is in love with his son, and when the pastor suddenly dies of a stroke, fulfilling her not so secret wishes, Anne is branded a witch and persecuted by the villagers. Its compositions evocative of Rembrandt and northern Renaissance paintings, Day of Wrath is a harrowing, thrilling experience from its first sequences, showing an old witch burned at the stake, to the final apotheosis of Anne. Despite its Ken Russellish subjects - sudden death, forbidden desire, witchcraft, paranoia, and persecution - Day of Wrath is rigorously ascetic, and all the more powerful for its austerity.


This screening is part of the larger thematic series:
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