Just saw this film. I can't say that it moved me in the same way that it did Rob, but it was powerful.
Plot aside, I feel that this film is a series of very different portraits, each depicting a different religious philosophy. There is the weary old man, the faithless son, the optimistic Inger, the fatalistic Peter, and then there is the guy who thinks that he is Jesus. Dreyer takes each of these characters and shows how they each separately react in a conflict. The beauty of this film is the ending: Dreyer shows how these different faiths are all made the same when confronted by a higher power.
This is a difficult movie. It is hard to keep track of the different nuances of each character.
Johannes is an enigma at first viewing, especially when he regains his wits and yet still raises Inger from the dead.
You really have to pay attention to everything that Johannes says, because it is paramount to understanding the movie. He stands in the background for most of the movie, rambling about how he is the ignored savior, and then he shows up at the end and changes everything.
It is difficult for me to really appreciate this film. I feel like you have to be religious or have some belief in a higher power for it to have a deep effect on you. And I do not. From what I saw, you need an act of God to occur right in front of you to replenish your faith. Dreyer insists that God is ever present in our daily lives. But I'm at odds with this.
I can appreciate why this movie is so celebrated and why it can have such an overwhelming effect on some, but I cannot relate. 8/10.
If anyone wants to help me with this, it would be appreciated.