Ordet (The Word) (1955)
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Earlier on this podcast was discussed Carl Theodor Dreyer’s silent masterpiece, The Passion of Joan of Arc. Another of Dreyer’s films was also included on the Vatican film list, this one from the sound era: Ordet (The Word), based on a play by the Lutheran priest Kaj Munk, who was later martyred by the Gestapo.
The film centers on the Borgen family, land-owning farmers in a small village in Denmark. The patriarch, Morton Borgen, is a religious man, but his oldest son Mikkel has lost his faith, while his second son Johannes, while studying theology, has gone mad and believes he is Jesus Christ Himself.
Ordet can be viewed as a provocative critique of a modern Christianity that no longer believes in miracles. Its astonishing conclusion throws down the gauntlet, forcing us to consider what it really means to have faith.
Music is The Duskwhales, “Take It Back”, used with permission. https://theduskwhales.bandcamp.com
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