The Trial of Joan of Arc (1962)

The Trial of Joan of Arc (Procès de Jeanne d’Arc)
Directed by Robert Bresson
Written by Robert Bresson from the transcript of the trial
Agnes Delahaie Productions
First viewing/FilmStruck


Jeanne d’Arc: My voices were from God. All I did, I did at God’s command. My voices did not lie. My visions were from God.

As with many of Bresson’s films, this is slow going but beautiful.

Most of the dialogue was taken from the actual transcript of Joan’s trial.  The English are, naturally, cast in a very bad light and possibly Bresson wrote the behind the scenes parts. The story concludes with Joan’s martyrdom at the stake.

Bresson directs in his usual “non-acting” style which is always distancing for me. Thankfully, the images were enough to keep me engaged.  I had never noticed before but, at least in this one, Bresson focuses a lot of his attention on feet, cutting off the heads and torsos of his actors while they are in motion.  His camera is much more lively than his actors or plot.

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