The Trial of Joan of Arc 

Docudrama | French with English subtitles | 65 minutes


In 1431, Jeanne (Joan), a French peasant girl, insists her heroic military successes were achieved with God’s help. She is imprisoned for heresy and brought to trial at Rouen. The Trial of Joan of Arc follows the relentless questioning and torture by Bishop Cauchon. When Jeanne recants her faith, she is sentenced to life imprisonment. But when she retracts her earlier position, the court rules that Jeanne is a witch and be burned at the stake. 

Florence Delay (Joan of Arc) / Jean-Claude Fourneau (Bishop Cauchon)
Why Stream This Film?
Drawn from transcripts of the trial, filmed with non-professional actors in a spare restrained style, Bresson has directed an enormously shocking and riveting masterpiece.
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 100%
  • Cannes Film Festival: Winner, Best Director (Robert Bresson)
  • Cahiers du Cinéma: Nominated, Best Film
  • The Trial of Joan of Arc received a perfect 100% Rotten Tomatoes score.
As the film goes on, Bresson shows more and more of Joan’s human side, sitting in her cell, fearing for her life and even weeping. By the time Bresson gets to the famous burning-at-the-stake scene, the film is all emotion.
Jeffrey M. Anderson

Combustible Celluloid

Using non-actors, there are no false dramatics. The film unveils another side of the oft-filmed tale and the state and church politics of the century.


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