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The Village Church

Carl Theodor Dreyer recounts the history of churches in Denmark, in this hypnotic and powerfully realised short.

Documentary 1947 14 mins Not rated

Director: Carl Th. Dreyer


Carl Theodor Dreyer brings typical precision and rigour to this history of churches in Denmark. Contrasting surviving buildings from the Middle Ages with contemporary churches, Dreyer recreates rituals from down the ages, reusing period costumes from his earlier feature Day of Wrath and even going so far as to remove electrical fittings before filming to enhance authenticity.

Winner of Best Documentary at Venice Film Festival in 1948, The Village Church is a hypnotic and formally exemplary film that critic Tony Rayns suggests is “worth considering alongside Dreyer’s major works.”