Grave robbing, torture, possessed nuns, and a satanic Sabbath: Benjamin Christensenâs legendary silent film uses a series of dramatic vignettes to explore the scientific hypothesis that the witches of the Middle Ages suffered the same hysteria as turn-of-the-century psychiatric patients. Far from a dry dissertation on the topic, the film itself is a witchesâ brew of the scary, the gross, and the darkly humorous. Christensenâs mix-and-match approach to genre anticipates gothic horror, documentary re-creation, and the essay film, making for an experience unlike anything else in the history of cinema.
Music from the original Danish premiere, arranged by film music specialist Gillian Anderson and performed by the Czech Film Orchestra, presented in Dolby Digital 5.0
Commentary by Danish silent film scholar Casper Tybjerg
A short selection of outtakes
Witchcraft Through the Ages (1968), the 76-minute version of H
Director Benjamin Christensenâs introduction to the 1941 rerelease