A tale of miraculous resurrection brought about by human love, Ordet is an extraordinary expression of spiritual optimism without being either sentimental or pious. Religious intolerance and family tensions lie at the heart of the film, which explores the clash between orthodox religions and true faith. Dreyer achieves its powerful effects in deceptively simple ways, and has produced, in its closing moments, one of the most extraordinary scenes in all cinema.
Ordet is a memorable flm. Maybe for the wrong reasons. Its first half, though loaded with scenes of beautiful coastal photography, bored me if not to tears but to sleep, less so on a second viewing despite its theme of what nowadays seems like religous claptrap. But the concluding 30 minutes are amazingly powerful (if still hard to swallow if that matters by then) and include maybe the most beautiful scene involving a
six-year-old child I have ever seen. Worth catching for that alone. The DVD includes two other quite remarkable short films by the author, Carl Dreyer. I have given this review three stars simply because my reactions varied between one and five.