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aka - Vredens Dag
Denmark 1943
Directed by
Carl Theodor Dreyer
97 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
5 stars

Day Of Wrath

Day of Wrath, whose title is taken from the Latin hymn, Dies Irae (Day of Wrath), is an adaptation of Anne Pedersdotter by Norwegian playwright, Hans Wiers-Jenssen. Released during the Nazi occupation of Denmark (1940-1945), which no doubt gave the film extra resonance in its day it is yet another extraordinary film from the Danish master film-maker Carl Theodor Dreyer.

Set in the early 17th century it deals with, essentially, the conflict between Life and Death. The latter is represented by the repressive, fear-laden established order upheld by a puritanical village pastor (Thorkild Roose) and his over-bearing mother, the former by his love-starved young second wife, Anne (Lisbeth Movin), trapped in a barren marriage who falls for the pastor's son from his first marriage, Martin (Preben Lerdorff Rye) when he returns for a visit. As ever, Dreyer’s careful mise-en-scène, richly symbolic use of light and dark and fluid camera results in a beautifully spare, intense rendition of the story with a typically empathetic portrayal of its central female character.

DVD Extras: The transfer from a restored print is of very good quality although there is some surface noise evident in places. Extras include a short film by Dreyer – A Castle Within A Castle; interviews with Lisbeth Movin and Preben Lerdorff Rye and an insert essay by film critic for the Chicago Reader, Jonathan Rosenbaum.

Available from: Madman

 

 

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