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479 Ratings

Mother Joan of the Angels

Matka Joanna od aniołów

Directed by Jerzy Kawalerowicz
Poland, 1961
Drama, Horror, History


Set in the 17th century. A convent in a small town is being visited by high-ranking Catholic official trying to exorcise the nun supposedly posessed by demons. A local priest have been burnt for creating this condition by sexual temptation of the nuns, especially the Mother superior.

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Mother Joan of the Angels Directed by Jerzy Kawalerowicz

Critics reviews

One of the greatest Polish films… Far from a traditional horror film, Mother Joan of the Angels builds an atmosphere of oppression with stark contrasting blacks and whites and rigorous formal compositions that emphasises the twisted bodies and malformed expressions of the apparently possessed nuns in contrast with the stiff convent walls.
October 31, 2016
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The self reigns as the only thing keeping us grounded to what is truly real in this evil-demon-world sense, so what happens when that one safety is taken away? Possession, or its modern correction “madness”, threatens to relieve us of our bodies and possibly our selves through another host. It’s therefore the most personal horror, and Mother Joan of the Angels tackles the intellectual weight of the subject with beauty and ease.
October 24, 2014
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…It is when [Mother Joan] turns her back to the camera and a slow travelling shot accompanies her exit of the room that we perceive that something is terribly wrong and the transformation now complete. She laughs enticingly, begins to crawl on the walls, spits on father Jozef and leaves (on the blank walls) the mark of her hand. This sequence’s atmosphere of dread, surprise and fantasy is entirely achieved through performance and direction.
May 01, 2003
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