Two years ago, Bruno Dumont made the experimental historical musical Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc. Now known for his provocative disposition and atheistic worldview, the director has added a second chapter to his original vision of the life of the Catholic saint and heroine and patron of France. In Jeanne, which made its debut at this year’s festival in Cannes, where it also picked up an award, he shows Joan of Arc in battle: with a world of men convinced they are right, on the battlefield and during an unjust trial for heresy. The story of the Virgin of Orléans is widely known—among the director’s compatriots in particular—so Dumont gives himself a lot of leeway: he limits the action to a minimum and instead adds a great deal of dialogue, providing information in the conventional way. He chooses the same approach that he took to the production of Slack Path: neither logic nor a semblance of realism is important; what matters are the characters and their interactions. In Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc, he touched on the issue of the rebirth of religious fanaticism in an ironic way. In Joan of Arc, in keeping with the spirit of the times, he focuses on showing the status of a woman who—both in the 15th and the 21st centuries—has to deal with condescending treatment by men and to prove her competence—even if, as in the case of Joan of Arc, she has divine backing.
French director Bruno Dumont holds a degree in philosophy and taught at a middle-school in his hometown of Bailleul. His cinematic debut was The Life of Jesus (1997) . His films such as Humanity, Flandres, and Hors Satan are usually set in northern France and include themes of philosophy such as faith, the need for God, as well as sexuality and otherness. In the Li'l Quinquin miniseries and Slack Bay Dumont shows off a different, more comedic style.
1997 Życie Jezusa / La vie de Jésus / The Life of Jesus
1999 Ludzkość / L'humanité / Humanity
2003 Dwadzieścia dziewięć palm / Twentynine Palms
2006 Flandria / Flandres / Flanders
2011 Poza szatanem / Hors Satan / Outside Satan
2013 Camille Claudel 1915
2016 Martwe wody / Ma loute / Slack Bay