Berlinale: Programme

Film File

Berlinale Classics


The Word

Das Wort

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God-fearing farmer Morten Borgen has three sons. The oldest, Mikkel, is married to Inger, who is expecting their second child, and middle son Johannes believes he is Jesus Christ. Anders, the youngest, is intent on marrying the daughter of a sectarian tailor whose religious beliefs are at odds with those of the Borgen patriarch. Ultimately the conflict even leads to fisticuffs between the men. A more profound problem are complications with Inger’s pregnancy – to save the mother, the doctor must sacrifice the newborn. But a raging Johannes predicts that Inger will also die … Dreyer’s minimalistic late film is based on a 1925 stage drama set in Jutland. The film, shot in long takes against sparse, theatrical backdrops, is famed for its mobile cinematography and lighting that is reminiscent of “old master” painting. Reduced to its spiritual core – the triumph of faith over rationalism – Ordet’s partisanship toward the preternatural can also be viewed as a profession of faith in the miraculous powers of cinema.

Carl Theodor Dreyer

Denmark 1955


125’ · Black/White · 4K DCP

World premiere of the digitally restored version in 4K DCP


Henrik Malberg
Emil Hass Christensen
Preben Lerdorff Rye
Cay Kristiansen
Birgitte Federspiel
Ann Elisabeth Groth Hansen
Ejner Federspiel


Written and Directed by
Carl Theodor Dreyer, based on the play “I Begyndelsen var Ordet” by Kaj Munk
Henning Bendtsen
Edith Schlüssel
Poul Schierbeck
Knud Kristensen
Art Director
Erik Aaes
N. Sandt Jensen
Tage Nielsen

World Sales

Danish Film Institute, Copenhagen

DCP: Danish Film Institute, Kopenhagen