Day of Wrath DVD
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Directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer
Produced in 1943
Main Language - DANISH with English subtitles
Countries & Regions - Scandinavian Film
By Day of Wrath, Dreyer's cinematic world was one in which shadows have as tangible a presence as silence. From the shadows of leaves that flicker across Herlof's Marthe's face before she is burned as a witch to the shadows that briefly touch Anne's cheek as she summons her mother's supernatural power of calling, they are signs of foreboding and there's a sense that death is abroad in the land, casting its brief, fateful presence over people's lives.
It's set during the 17th century witch-hunts. A reverend, old Absalon Pedersson, has taken a lovely young wife, Anne, whose mother was suspected of witchery. Absalon spared the mother to gain the daughter. When Martin, Absalon's son by his first marriage arrives, Anne glimpses the possibility of the joy she's so far been denied.
Though her fate is circumscribed in a world of suspicion and righteousness, the scenes in which she tries her independence are memorable. Her confrontation of Absalon is invigoratingly powerful, and the noiseless, erotic slink with which she crosses the floor when he's out in the marsh is entrancing, the howling wind outside increasing the shell of silence inside.
Graeme Hobbs on 1st March 2006
Author of 299 reviews
Set in 17th century Denmark, this is a dark and powerful tale of love and betrayal within a community gripped by an obsessive fear of witchcraft. A priest tortures a confession out of an old woman, while his young wife meets and falls in love with the priest's son by an earlier marriage. It's seen by some as an allegory of the Nazi occupation of Denmark, while others read it it an indictment of male suppression of strong women. Undeniable though is the extraordinary emotional intensity achieved by superb performances and Dreyer's restrained and spare style.
Length: 95 mins
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
Format: DVD B&W
Released: 10th April 2006
Cat No: BFIVD666
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- Full feature commentary by Danish Dreyer expert Casper Tybjerg.
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