The Passion of Joan of Arc 25.03.16


This will be a unique and one off opportunity to experience this remarkable film in the UK with a live piano accompaniment by renowned Japanese composer and performer Mie Yanashita.

Her composition for The Passion of Joan of Arc, which is part scored and part improvised, is on the remastered Masters of Cinema DVD of the film.

After having led numerous military battles against the English during the Hundred Years’ War, Joan of Arc is captured near Compiegne and eventually brought to Rouen, Normandy, to stand trial for heresy by French clergymen loyal to the English. On 30 May 1431 Joan is interrogated by the French clerical court. Her judges try to make her say something that will discredit her claim or shake her belief that she has been given a mission by God to drive the English from France, but she remains steadfast. One or two of them, believing that she is indeed a saint, support her. The authorities then resort to deception. A priest reads a false letter to the illiterate prisoner supposedly from King Charles VII of France, telling her to trust in the bearer. When that too fails, Joan is taken to view the torture chamber, but the sight, though it causes her to faint, does not intimidate her. When she is threatened with burning at the stake, she finally breaks and allows a priest to guide her hand in signing a confession. However, the judge then condemns her to life imprisonment. As the jailer shaves her head, she realises she has been unfaithful to God. She demands that the judges return and she recants her confession.

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