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Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc(Jeannette, l'enfance de Jeanne d'Arc)

France, 1425. In the midst of the Hundred Years’ War, the young Jeannette, at the still tender age of 8, looks after her sheep in the small village of Domremy. One day, she tells her friend Hauviette how she cannot bear to see the suffering caused by the English. Madame Gervaise, a nun, tries to reason with the young girl, but Jeannette is ready to take up arms for the salvation of souls and the liberation of the Kingdom of France. Carried by her faith, she will become Joan of Arc.


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Slant Magazine by Carson Lund

It's true that the disorientation produced in the collision of Igorrr's frenetic style-mashing and Dumont's unadorned long-take aesthetic ensures that the film feels remarkably distinct from prior cinematic adaptations of Joan of Arc's life, but it's also hard not to wonder how this particular story might have played without the farfetched musical conceit grafted atop it.

IndieWire by Eric Kohn

Even though it doesn’t aim for outright comedy, Dumont doesn’t deny the material some levity.

The Film Stage by Ethan Vestby

While it’s definitely hard not to crack a smile at all the head-banging that ensues, or how almost outright tacky and frankly uncool the film risks being at times with its bevy of musical numbers, they speak to the overall earnestness and conviction that arises from the film.

The New York Times by Glenn Kenny

“Jeannette” throws the modern back at the medieval, making no distinction between religious ecstasy and that experienced in certain contemporary contexts of music and ritual. It’s a provocative proposition that yields a film of genuine spiritual dimension.

The Hollywood Reporter by Jordan Mintzer

The fact that the director once again displays a true mastery of his craft, from Deffontaines’ exquisite framing to the decision to record all the songs live rather than having them lip-synched (apparently one of the only times this has been done since Straub-Huillet’s 1975 movie Moses and Aron), makes for a transfixing, if sometimes excruciating, cinematic experience.

Village Voice by Kristen Yoonsoo Kim

There’s no hint of irony in this film (I don’t think it would work if there were); in fact, Jeannette succeeds in its earnestness, adapting its words from Charles Peguy’s works, but countering it with the pure, joyous silliness of its presentation.

The Guardian by Leslie Felperin

One can never quite tell with Dumont if he’s deadly serious about all this or laughing up his sleeve. That’s sort of what makes his work fascinating, although in this instance, viewer patience is severely tested.

The New Yorker by Richard Brody

Dumont films Joan’s spiritual conflicts and confrontations with playful exuberance but avoids frivolity; the ardent actors infuse Joan’s spirit of revolt with the eternal passions of youth.