Still and thoughtful, grand and pathetic. Combining modernist minimalism with old fashioned silent movie techniques to build emotional tension slowly and carefully, Dreyer achieves a serene and austere beauty unsurpassed ever since. Chronicling the events of a troubled family including benevolent patriarch, holy fool, saintly mother, and blessed child. Characters talk without looking at each other, farm sounds are eerily and repeatedly interspersed, minor differences in religion take on unnatural importance.
The story moves from sacrifice, loss and suffering to reconciliation, hope and a new start. A miracle shocks the soul, as intended. In my most profound book of faith.