The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) Script

THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC


In Paris, the library of the Chamber of Deputies holds one of the most extraordinary documents in the history of the world: the minutes of the trial of Joan of Arc, a trial which ended in her sentencing and death.

In it, the judges' questions and Joan's answers are meticulously recorded.

Reading it, we discover Joan as she really was.

Not the Joan in helmet and armor, but simple and human.

A young woman who died for her country.

We witness an astounding drama: a young, deeply religious woman attacked by a horde of blinded theologians and experienced lawyers.


I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth...

nothing but the truth.


In France, they call me Joan.

In my village, they called me Joanie.

How old are you?

Nineteen. I think.

Do you know the Lord's Prayer?

Who taught it to you?


My mother.

Would you recite the Lord's Prayer?

You claim to have been sent by God?

To save France.

That's why I was born.

So you think God hates the English?

I know nothing of God's love or hatred for the English...

but I know the English will all soon be driven out of France...


except those who die here!


You said Saint Michael appeared to you. What did he look like?

Did he have wings?

Was he wearing a crown?

How was he dressed?

How could you know if it was a man or a woman?

Was he naked?

Do you think God is unable to clothe him?

Did he have long hair?

Why would he have cut it?

Why do you wear men's clothes?

If we give you women's clothes, will you wear them?

When the mission God gave me is finished, I will wear women's clothes again.


So it was God who commanded you to wear men's clothes?

And what reward do you hope to gain from Our Lord?

The salvation of my soul.

You blaspheme God.


This is disgraceful.

To me, she is a saint.


Did God promise you anything?

That has nothing to do with your trial.

Shouldn't we let the judges decide that?

Would you like to put it to a vote?


Well, then! What did God promise you?

Perhaps he told you you'd be freed from prison?

When?

I know neither the day...

nor the hour.


She doesn't want to make a confession, so we must use wiles to get it.

Fetch a letter bearing King Charles's signature.

I will dictate the letter.


I have such compassion for you!


Can you recognize your king's signature?

I have a letter from him for you.

I don't know how to read.

"To our dear, beloved Joan...

I make ready to march upon Rouen with a great army.

I send you this devoted priest. Trust him."


As Jesus is God's son, do you consider yourself God's daughter?

Now will you recite the Lord's Prayer?


Did God tell you you'd be freed from prison?

Yes, through a great victory!


Did God promise you'd go to heaven?

So you are certain of your salvation?

Be careful, that's a dangerous answer.


So if you are sure of your salvation, you have no need of the Church?


Are you in a state of grace?


Well, now! Answer! Are you in a state of grace?


If I am, may God keep me there.

If I am not, may God bestow His grace upon me!


Sir...

allow me to hear Mass.


Joan, if we allow you to hear Mass...

will you lay aside your men's clothes?


So you prefer your men's clothes to hearing Mass?

That immodest garb...

abominable to God.

You are no daughter of God.

You are a servant of Satan!

Prepare the torture.


She sure looks like a daughter of God.


In the torture chamber.


Look at your judges.

Are not these learned doctors of the Church wiser than you?

But God is wiser still!

Listen, Joan, we know your revelations do not come from God...

but from the devil.

How do you tell a good angel from a bad angel?

You kneeled before Satan, not Saint Michael!

Don't you see it's the devil who has confused you...

tricked you...

and betrayed you?

I think she's ready to sign the letter of abjuration!


The Church opens its arms to you.

If you refuse, the Church will abandon you and you will be alone.

Alone!

Yes, alone.

Alone with God!


Even if you tear my soul from my body, I will renounce nothing.

And if I do say anything, afterward, I'll say you forced it out of me!


She must not die a natural death.

She is very weak.

She is feverish. She must be bled.

Be careful, she could kill herself. She's very cunning.


Get the Sacraments.


You have nothing to say to us?

I fear I'm in great danger of dying...

and if I do, I ask to be buried in holy ground.

The Church is merciful.

It always welcomes its lost sheep.

Joan, we all want to help you.

You see, I've sent for the Holy Sacrament.


I am a good Christian.


Don't you know that what you refuse is the Body of Christ?

Can't you see that you offend God with your stubbornness?


I love and honor God with all my heart.


You say that I am sent by the devil.

That is not true.

It is you who are sent by the devil to make me suffer.

And you.

And you.

And you.

There's nothing left to do. Summon the executioner!


For the last time, let us try to save this lost soul.


I'm speaking to you, Joan.

And I tell you your king is a heretic!

My king is the most noble of all Christians.

This woman's arrogance is outrageous.


Never has France seen such a monster.

I never hurt anyone.

If you don't sign, you'll be burned alive.

Look, the executioner awaits.

You don't have the right to die. Your king still needs your help.

Joan, sign... and save your life!

Joan, we have such pity for you.

Sign, Joan!


In the Lord's name. Amen.

As you have admitted your errors, we free you from the bonds of excommunication.

But because you have rashly sinned, we condemn you...

to perpetual imprisonment with the bread of sorrow and the water of affliction.

You have done well this day: You have saved your life and your soul.


She made fools of you!

Long live Joan!


Fetch the judges!

I repent. I lied.

Hurry!


I've done something very bad.


I betrayed God to save my life.

But, Joan, before the people you admitted you'd been led by the devil.

So you still believe you are God's chosen one?

That answer is her death sentence.


I only confessed out of fear of the flames.

Do you have anything else to tell us?


We have come to prepare you for death.

Is it time... already?

How am I to die?

At the stake.

I'll get the viaticum.

Tell me, how can you still believe you were sent by God?

God moves in mysterious ways.

Yes, I am His child.

And the great victory?

My martyrdom!

And your freedom?


Death!


Do you wish to make confession?

RELAPSED HERETIC, APOSTATE, IDOLATER


Joan, be brave. Your last hour is near.


Sweet God, I accept death gladly...

but don't let me suffer too long.

Will I be with You tonight in paradise?


Jesus!

You have burned a saint!


The protective flames surrounded Joan's soul as she rose to heaven.

Joan, whose heart has become the heart of France.

Joan, whose memory will be honored by the French forever.

THE END This film was restored in 2015 by Gaumont with funding from the Centre national du cinéma et de l'image animée.

The restoration was based on a copy printed by the Cinémathèque Française for reconstruction of the film in 1985.

As the original negative was lost, it was printed from a nitrate copy conserved at the Danish Film Institute.

The Danish intertitles were translated into French by Maurice Drouzy.