Johanna Review

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A young female drug addiction patient narrowly escapes death and then finds she has the ability to cure other patients by offering herself to them. Her spurned doctor and the hospital administration are not impressed.


In expanding his short, Joan Of Arc Of The Night Bus, Kornél Mundruczó joins Carl Theodor Dreyer, Victor Fleming, Roberto Rossellini, Robert Bresson, Jacques Rivette and Luc Besson in re-examining the betrayal of a martyr whose belief in her cause provoked dire envy. However, no film has couched her demise in such venturesome terms as this Steadicam opera, in which addict Orsolya Tóth emerges from a coma with the power of sexual healing.

The fluid visuals bear the distinctive imprint of co-producer Béla Tarr — especially in their sinister evocation of nocturnal wards. But it’s the avowedly modern score by Zsófia Tallér that gives this striking picture the eccentric audacity and disarming power to transcend its narrative inconsistencies and conceptual implausibilities.

A laudably bold idea to update Joan of Arc's story as a medical opera ultimately over-reaches itself, both in terms of its allegorical references and its increasingly self-conscious audiovisual stylisation