Roger Ebert

BSO accompanies 'The Passion of Joan of Arc'

BSO accompanies 'The Passion of Joan of Arc'

Call it poetic injustice.

In 1928, Carl Theodor Dreyer made a movie called "The Passion of Joan of Arc," about the sainted maiden from Orleans who led French forces against the English and was burned at the stake for heresy in the 15th century. Shortly after its release, the original negative of the silent film was consumed, like Joan, by fire.

Dreyer tried to reconstruct "The Passion of Joan of Arc" from a few surviving prints, but that effort, too, was lost in a warehouse conflagration. The Danish director never tried again. He died in 1968.

Skip to 1981. Inside the janitor's closet of a mental institution in Oslo, a first-cut print of the movie was...