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Jeanne La Pucelle - Part 1: The Battles [DVD]

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Jeanne La Pucelle - Part 1: The Battles [DVD] + Jeanne La Pucelle - Part 2: The Prisons  [DVD] + Secret Defense [DVD] [1998]
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Product details

  • Actors: Sandrine Bonnaire, Tatiana Moukhine, Jean-Marie Richier, Baptiste Roussillon, Jean-Luc Petit
  • Directors: Jacques Rivette
  • Producers: Martine Marignac, Maurice Tinchant
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Artificial Eye
  • DVD Release Date: 24 Aug 2009
  • Run Time: 160 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 77,329 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


A lavish and highly detailed retelling of the story of Joan of Arc from French director Jacques Rivette. This volume, part one of a two-part set, follows Jeanne the Maid (Sandrine Bonnaire) from her childhood home in Domredy, where she believes she heard the voice of God, to the court of the Dauphin (Andre Marcon), who she hopes will allow her to lead his troops to victory.

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By E.P. Count Ivan Ivanovich on 25 Mar 2010
Sandrine Bonnaire is superb in the role of Joan, portraying vividly the simplicity and strength of the Maid. Jacques Rivette's direction is that of a master as he evokes the world of medieval France. The supporting actors, too are sensational. The film is quite mezmorising and one just wants to watch it again and again - save for the very end. Mlle. Bonnaire is so convincing as Joan that it is quite impossible to watch the very end - her performance is flawless. This is essentail viewing for all with a devotion to Saint Joan - do not be put off by the battle scenes they are neither laboured nor bloody, but shown for that which they were - essential steps on the road of Joan's pilgrimage. This ought to be in the R.E. room of every Roman Catholic school.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By technoguy VINE VOICE on 1 Aug 2013
Jeanne La Pucelle,Part 1-The Battles,Part 2 (The Prisons) is a major attempt to strip away the hype of other interpretations,the rhetoric of religion,the miracles of mythology,to present her as a down-to-earth teenage farmgirl,who hears voices of saints from God telling her to save France from the English and to see the dauphin crowned as King of France.Bonnaire can be stern with her men,pull them up when they blaspheme or are ill disciplined. She can be giggly when her hair is cut and like an immature girl when she is hit by an arrow,crying and vulnerable.There are no close-ups,which is a feature of Rivette's cinema.The film captures well the ebb and flow of sympathy of the soldiers around her,the way they almost hero worship her and become courageous when she is present,flyng a banner,rallying the troops.Rivette respects Dreyers and Bresson's versions presenting a companion piece.This has the realism of medieval reportage rather than costume drama.

Rivette shows a mastery of period detail and dramatic pacing,somehow avoiding cliche s or pitfalls.Bonnaire's performance is compelling and credible.She makes you believe this illiterate peasant teenager could penetrate the sycophantic supporters around the dauphin and make him believe that divine voices would inspire her to victory over the occupying English and that she could be discarded by supporters so easily and persecuted so viciously by her ecclesiastical and military foes.In Bonnaire's portrayal Jeanne has quietness,dignity,but is self assured to lead men into battle.She suggests doubt in private moments about what direction to take.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. R. Dersley on 27 Mar 2012
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This review is for Parts 1 and 2, it makes no sense to review them separately. When reviewing such a film, with strong religous content, I think the reviewer should disclose his/her beliefs. Mine are that all religion is misguided. This is important because I confess that from this viewpoint it is difficult for me to have much empathy with or sympathy for Jeanne. As she is portrayed she is headstrong and obstinate - which she must have been to follow her "voices" and achieve what she apparently did; but crucially she is also shown as very poor at communicating her experiences of her voices. Throughout the film we are never witness to her hearing anything, just her assertions that her voices have told her to take a particular course. I am not suggesting that Rivette should have resorted to ghostly, other worldly vocals from the saints; that would have been trite and invited scorn or amusement; but he and Bonnaire fail in the absence of these to show us why Jeanne believed that she heard voices and should follow them, and even more importantly why anyone believed her. The scenes where she convinces Charles that her voices indicate that he should follow a certain course of action lack any conviction because they don't show how or why HE was convinced.

The staging of the films is interesting, with many of the scenes linked by narrative from people who were with Jeanne. This provides an unusual personal touch. The indoor scenes involving interaction between a few characters work well on the whole and much better than the outdoor scenes, particularly those involving battle in which a few dozen try to be several hundred. In some instances even this is not attempted - we are simply told by one of the narrators that a battle took place and what the outcome was.
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