Day Of Wrath

2459. DAY OF WRATH (1943-Denmark). Written, produced and directed by CARL THEODOR DREYER. This austere and beautifully directed classic was made by the most acclaimed filmmaker in the history of the Danish cinema. The setting is a Danish village in 1623. An elderly peasant woman named Martha has been denounced as a witch by three “respected and worthy citizens.” She is to be seized and brought before the authorities, one of whom is Pastor Absolon Pedersson. The widowed pastor has recently married a younger woman named Anne, whose mother had earlier been accused of witchcraft. Marthe is found guilty of the charges, and implores the pastor to spare her from being burned at the stake. “Only God can help you,” is Absolon’s stern response. “Send me to my death and yours shall follow,” Marthe tells one of her inquisitors. Dreyer’s notably slow pacing is deceptively effective as the tension builds. Will Marthe’s promises be fulfilled? How will they come about? How will they impact upon Absolon? The film was produced and released during the Nazi occupation of Denmark, and the manner in which Marthe is persecuted and butchered clearly parallels the manner in which the Germans were victimizing innocent Danish citizens. In fact, after its release, Dreyer feared for his life and managed to escape into Sweden. In Danish with English subtitles. 97 minutes. Drama