Archive of films Jeannette, the Childhood of Joan of Arc / Jeannette, l’enfance de Jeanne d’Arc

2017, 115 min

Section: Another View
Year: 2017

Bruno Dumont is back! After the intensely subversive comedy Li’l Quinquin and the whacky Slack Bay, his quarry this time is a musical you could call anything you want, but just not classical. Eight-year-old Jeannette has a profound love of God, she tends a flock of sheep, and yet only history is aware that, in a few years’ time, she will become the iconic Joan of Arc.


After his undiluted (if deeply subversive) comedy Li’l Quinquin and the whacky Slack Bay, Bruno Dumont dives headlong into a new genre. His quarry on this occasion is a musical in which he has eight-year-old Jeannette expressing her anguish in song as she witnesses the suffering of the French at the hands of the English during the Hundred Years’ War. Yes, it’s 1425 and Jeannette is none other than the future Joan of Arc. For the time being, however, she’s just a little girl tending a flock of sheep and questioning her beloved God. But let’s leave the dry historical facts to one side for now. More important is Dumont’s eccentric imagination, which enables the perpetual experimenter to uncover a universe paralleling European history. The musical – call it anything you like except classical – is dominated by Dumont’s visionary approach to direction, the singular film score from avant-garde wizard Igorrr, and the extraordinary choreography by Philippe Decouflé (a Cirque du Soleil collaborator).

Anna Kořínek

About the director

Bruno Dumont

Bruno Dumont (b. 1958, Bailleul, France) entered the film industry as a self-taught filmmaker. He gained international attention with his feature-length debut The Life of Jesus (La vie de Jésus, 1997). His provocative works have placed him among French filmmakers opting for a personal aesthetic style and unsettling subject matter, whose movies provoke considerable controversy with their naturalistic, taboo-defying approach. Dumont’s films have been shown at prestigious festivals and have won numerous awards: Humanity (L’humanité, 1999), Twentynine Palms (2003), Flanders (2006), Hadewijch (2009), Outside Satan (Hors Satan, 2011), and Camille Claudel 1915 (2013). Li’l Quinquin was his first comedy and, after its successful screening in Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight, it appeared on the programme of the 49th KVIFF in 2014. Dumont’s Slack Bay was also screened at KVIFF in 2016.


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About the film

Color, DCP

Section: Another View
Director: Bruno Dumont
Screenplay: Bruno Dumont podle románu / based on the novel by Charles Péguy 
Dir. of Photography: Guillaume Deffontaines
Music: Igorrr 
Editor: Bruno Dumont, Basile Belkhiri
Producer: Jean Bréhat, Rachid Bouchareb, Muriel Merlin
Production: Taos Production
Coproduction: Arte France, Pictanovo
Cast: Lise Leplat Prudhomme, Jeanne Voisin, Lucile Gauthier, Victoria Lefebvre, Aline Charles
Distributor: Film Europe s.r.o.


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