Jeannette: the Childhood of Joan of Arc

Director: Bruno Dumont

France, 2017, musical, 106 minutes, french with lithuanian and english subtitles, V

Jeannette: the Childhood of Joan of Arc is an unexpected and playful interpretation of the childhood of Joan of Arc, the legendary Maid of Orléans, coming from Bruno Dumont, the French master familiar to Kaunas International Film Festival audiences from his 2010 feature Outside Satan (Hors Satan). Although the life of Joan of Arc has notably inspired filmmakers such as Robert Bresson, Otto Preminger, Jacques Rivette, Carl Theodor Dreyer and others, her childhood is not a narrative that has been told that often. Bruno Dumont transforms this period of Jeannette‘s life to a genre-bending musical inspired by the works of French writer and poet Charles Péguy. The year is 1425 and little, 8-year-old Jeannette is tending to her sheep in the sleepy village of Domrémy in northeastern France. She is also making a plan on how to save the Kingdom of France from the suffering induced by the ongoing Hundred Year‘s War... Her friend Hauviette and Madam Gervaise, a nun, attempt to dissuade the girl from such a campaign, however, Jeannette‘s destiny is far away from shephering and tranquility. The tenth feature from Bruno Dumont is an entertaining synthesis of history, mysticism and electronic and metal music.

About the director:

French film director and screenwriter Bruno Dumont was born in 1958, in northern France. His native village of Bailleul provided the setting for his first films to be awarded at the Cannes film festival: The Life of Jesus (La vie de Jésus, 1997) and Humanity (L'humanité, 1999). Having studied philosophy at university, Dumont compares filmmaking to the practice of philosophy. His films are often compared to those of Robert Bresson, the French art house master who also used non-professional actors and explored the themes of humanism, emotionality and nature. Dumont‘s practice has also been notably inspired by directors such as Abbas Kiarostami, Ingmar Bergman and Roberto Rosselini. In France, his films have been placed in the tradition of the ‘cinema of the body’ (cinéma du corps) alongside Claire Denis, Gaspar Noé, François Ozon and others. Jeannette: the Childhood of Joan of Arc is the tenth feature from this director and it premiered at this year‘s Cannes film festival.

Section: Wide Angle

Screenplay: Bruno Dumont

Dir. of Photography: Guillaume Deffontaines


Cast: Lise Leplat Prudhomme, Jeanne Voisin, Lucile Gauthier, Victoria Lefebvre, Aline Charles, Elise Charles