The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc

Synopsis: In 1412, a young girl called Jeanne is born in Domrémy, France. The times are hard: The Hunderd Years war with England has been going on since 1337, English knights and soldiers roam the country. Jeanne develops into a very religious young woman, she confesses several times a day. At the age of 13, she has her first vision and finds a sword. When coming home with it, she finds the English leveling her home town. Years after that, in 1428, she knows her mission is to be ridding France of the English and so sets out to meet Charles, the Dauphin. In his desperate military situation, he welcomes all help and gives the maiden a chance to prove her divine mission. After the successful liberation of Orléans and Reims, the Dauphin can be crowned traditionally in the cathedral of Reims - and does not need her anymore, since his wishes are satisfied. Jeanne d'Arc gets set up in his trap and is imprisoned by the Burgundians. In a trial against her under English law, she can't be forced to tell ab
Director(s): Luc Besson
Production: Columbia Pictures
  5 wins & 13 nominations.
 
IMDB:
6.4
Metacritic:
54
Rotten Tomatoes:
30%
R
Year:
1999
148 min
Website
383 Views

FADE IN:

EXT. CHURCH - DOMREMY - DAY

FADE UP on ripples on the surface of a puddle. Slow PAN

UP:
the water becomes placid, and in it we see the

reflection of an inverted CROSS on the top of a small

church. We move across the little churchyard and in

through the open doors.

INT. CHURCH - DOMREMY - DAY

Utter simplicity -- stone walls, rough-hewn wooden

benches, primitive saints in the stained-glass windows --

chickens peck among the straw that covers the earthen

floor.

INT. CONFESSIONAL BOX - CHURCH - DAY

A little wooden grill slides open and the friendly face of

the village PRIEST peers at us. He glances about,

perplexed.

PRIEST:

Is anybody there?

A small hand appears -- then the face of a girl aged about

10, peering up at him through the grill. The Priest

smiles a trifle wearily.

PRIEST:

You know I'm always happy to see

you, Jeanne, but to keep coming here

twice, three times a day...

JEANNE:

I need to confess.

PRIEST:

But you already confessed this

morning...

JEANNE:

I need to confess again.

PRIEST:

So... alright. What terrible sin

have you committed since then that

can't wait till tomorrow to be

forgiven?

Jeanne climbs up on the prayer-stool to be tall enough to

look the Priest in the eye.

JEANNE:

I saw a poor monk without shoes so I

gave him some.

PRIEST:

There's no sin in charity, Jeanne.

JEANNE:

They weren't my shoes. Mine were

too small.

PRIEST:

Whose were they?

JEANNE:

My father's.

PRIEST:

I'm sure he'll forgive you.

JEANNE:

He already did, but I want God to

forgive me too.

PRIEST:

Jeanne -- if we were to ask

forgiveness all the time, we'd spend

our whole life in church.

JEANNE:

Is that bad?

PRIEST:

(perplexed)

Well no, but... Jeanne, are you

happy at home?

JEANNE:

Oh yes... very.

PRIEST:

And your mother -- everything's fine

with her?

JEANNE:

Oh yes, she's... wonderful.

FLASH:
we see Jeanne's peasant MOTHER, sitting by the

fire, sewing. Their home is little more than a hovel -- a

low, dark cave of a place, traversed by a huge beam.

PRIEST:

Good, good. And your sister...

Catherine -- she's still your best

friend?

JEANNE:

Oh yes, my sister's just... she's...

wonderful.

FLASH:
Jeanne's sister CATHERINE (18) sits near her

mother, spinning wool.

PRIEST:

And what about your other friends...

you don't like playing with them?

JEANNE:

Oh yes, I play with them... lots...

FLASH:
Jeanne is battling against some reeds with a

wooden stick under a full noonday sun. Not far away, a

group of kids are in the shadow of a huge tree, playing.

One of them watches Jeanne in the distance.

KID #1

What's she doing?

KID #2

Playing.

Resume on the Priest.

PRIEST:

So... everything sounds...

wonderful?

JEANNE:

Yes, it is.

PRIEST:

Then... why are you here so often?

JEANNE:

I feel safe here. And it's where I

can talk to him.

PRIEST:

Him?

JEANNE:

Well, I try and talk to him, but

mostly he's the one who does the

talking.

PRIEST:

Who is this "he"?

JEANNE:

He never says his name.

PRIEST:

What... does he... look like?

FLASH:
a little boy of 8, sitting on a throne in a

clearing in a wood.

JEANNE:

Beautiful.

PRIEST:

And what does he say to you?

FLASH:
the Boy points solemnly at us, but says nothing.

JEANNE:

He says... he says I must be good...

and help everyone... and take care

of myself. Do you think he's coming

from the sky?

PRIEST:

Perhaps... but wherever he comes

from, I think you should listen to

him, because it sounds like he's

giving you very good advice.

The Priest smiles, and Jeanne beams back at him. He

blesses her...

PRIEST:

Ego te absolvo, in nomine Patris, et

Filii, et Spiritus Sancti, Amen.

EXT. CHURCH & STREAM - DAY

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Luc Besson

Luc Besson is a French film director, screenwriter, and producer. He directed or produced the films Subway, The Big Blue, and Nikita. more…

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