Magazine article Screen International

Bruno Dumont Reveals Details of Joan of Arc Musical 'Jeannette'

Magazine article Screen International

Bruno Dumont Reveals Details of Joan of Arc Musical 'Jeannette'

Article excerpt

French director Bruno Dumont has revealed first details about his musical film Jeannette exploring French heroine Joan of Arc's spiritual and patriotic awakening as a child, which is due to shoot in northern France this August.

The new film work is based on The Mystery of the Charity of Jeanne d'Arc, a poem by 20th-century poet and essayist Charles Péguy capturing Joan of Arc's humble upbringing and the visions that sparked her decision to join the struggle against the English in the latter stages of the Hundred Years' War.

Speaking at a private presentation to buyers at the Carlton, organised by Paris-based sales company Luxbox, Dumont said the project had been born out of a desire to make a musical film rather than explore the life of Joan of Arc.

"I was like a composer looking for a libretto. I searched French literature for a text which was lyrical rather than wordy," he said.

"In the history of cinema, there have been 15 to 20 films about Joan of Arc. Everyone knows her story in adult life and her end but I don't want to re-visit what's already been done. What hasn't been explored so much is her childhood," said Dumont.

At the heart of the film will be the young girl's transformation from lowly peasant to warrior.

"What interests me is how Jeannette became Joan of Arc and that is what I will focus on, the moment when this little peasant girl has visions and then sets offto war to kick the English out of France," he added.

Joan of Arc grew up in the village of Domremy in the eastern French region of Lorraine but Dumont has decided to transpose the story to his home region of the Nord-Pas-De-Calais, where has he shot most his films. …

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