Combustible Celluloid
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With: Lisbeth Movin, Preben Lerdorff Rye, Thorkild Roose, Albert Høeberg, Preben Neergaard, Sigrid Neiiendam, Anna Svierkier, Olaf Ussing
Written by: Carl Theodor Dreyer, Poul Knudsen, Mogens Skot-Hansen
Directed by: Carl Theodor Dreyer
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Language: Danish, with English subtitles
Running Time: 97
Date: 13/11/1943

Day of Wrath (1943)

4 Stars (out of 4)

Every Witch Way

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Carl Theodor Dreyer's Day of Wrath (1943) follows the rather spectacular subject of witch hunts in the 17th century. But with Dreyer's artistry driving the film, it becomes far more than just a sideshow attraction. The luminous Lisbeth Movin stars as a preacher's young second wife who helps to harbor an accused witch, then falls illicitly in love with her husband's grown son (from his first marriage). When the husband finds out, she curses him, he dies, and she's accused of witchcraft. Dreyer's fluid, softly moving camera that takes in long, slow shots heightens the sensual nature of the film as well as its mystery. It's both a direct and indirect way of looking at the story -- and withholding its secrets -- that makes it resonate.

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