Directed by: Carl Theodor Dreyer
Countries & Regions: Denmark
Studio: British Film Institute
Length: 95 mins
Region: Region 2
Released: 10 April 2006
Cat No: BFIVD666
Screen ratio 1:1.33
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Day of Wrath
In 17th century Denmark, the elderly Cathedral Notary Absalon Pedersson (Thorkild Roose) is cursed at the stake by an elderly peasant... Read More
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.