The idiosyncratic French auteur Bruno Dumont finds himself in full sequel swing with Jeanne, a follow-up to his lauded 2017 musical Jeannette, the Childhood of Joan of Arc (read review). Lise Leplat Prudhomme resurrects her role from the first film while Dumont moves into adapting the second and third parts of Charles Peguy’s The Mystery of the Charity of Joan of Arc. Confirming the sequel will also be a musical, Dumont’s soundtrack will this time be scored by 1980s French pop singer Christophe rather than the mix of heavy metal which was the pronounced element of the earlier film. Dumont released Coincoin and the Extra Humans earlier in 2018, which premiered at Locarno in competition and was the sequel to his earlier hit film/mini-series L’il Quinquin (2014). Dumont became one of France’s more notorious existentialist auteurs through the 2000s, premiering in Directors’ Fortnight with his celebrated 1997 debut The Life of Jesus (where it won a Special Mention) then competing in Cannes three times (Humanite, 1999; Flanders, 2006; Slack Bay, 2016), winning Grand Prize of the Jury in 1999 and 2006. 2011’s Outside Satan played in Un Certain Regard while 2014’s L’il Quinquin went to Directors’ Fortnight. Dumont also competed in Venice with 2003’s Twentynine Palms and in Berlin with 2013’s Camille Claudel, 1915. Jeanne is produced by Jean Brehat of 3B Productions while French distribution is being handled by Les Films du Losange.
Gist: Dumont adapts the latter half of Peguy’s text, which entails Joan of Arc’s battles with the English, her court case, and infamous burning at the stake. This will be the youngest cinematic iteration of Joan of Arc as portrayed by a 10 year old.
Release Date/Prediction: Dumont began production on Jeanne in August 2018, with the goal to be ready for a Summer 2019 theatrical release. In all likelihood, Dumont will return to the Directors’ Fortnight—however, the critical success of the 2017 title might assist him in competing for the fourth time.