Ordet; Word, The

2840. ORDET (The Word) (1955-Denmark). Directed and scripted by CARL THEODOR DREYER. Dreyer is the most famous and respected creative force in the history of the Danish cinema, as well as one of the world’s most distinguished movie makers. Here is the next-to-last credit in his illustrious career, a simple and quietly moving masterpiece which has long been a staple on critics’ lists of the all-time-greatest films. Many of Dreyer’s films focus on man’s complex relationship with religion and spiritual forces, and this is no exception. His story unfolds in an isolated West Jutland farming district. He subtly and delicately weaves the tale of Morten Borgen, an old peasant farmer who holds a rigid view of the world around him. Morten is the father of three sons. The first is Anders, who is forbidden by his father to marry his beloved because of the religious disagreements Morten has with her father. His second is Mikkel, whose wife Inge dies in childbirth. His third son is Johannes, a visionary who prays for Inge’s resurrection. The sequence in which Inge is indeed awakened from the dead is the film’s highpoint. It has long been the subject of controversy as to Dreyer’s intention. Is the awakening meant to be evidence of God’s existence? Or is there a less religious and more mystical-oriented explanation? This film ultimately is a provocative examination of the difference between traditional religion practice and genuine religious faith. It will massage your mind and stick in your gut long after its haunting and emotional finale. In Danish with English subtitles. 125 minutes. Drama