“King of England, if you do not do these things, I am the commander of the military; and in whatever place I shall find your men in France, I will make them flee the country, whether they wish to or not; and if they will not obey, the Maid will have them all killed. She comes sent by the King of Heaven, body for body, to take you out of France, and the Maid promises and certifies to you that if you do not leave France she and her troops will raise a mighty outcry as has not been heard in France in a thousand years. And believe that the King of Heaven has sent her so much power that you will not be able to harm her or her brave army.” – Joan of Arc, letter to the King of England, 1429
Driven by divine voices, Joan of Arc (c. 1412–1431) went from small village peasant girl to the first female captain of the French Army – at age 17 – for King Charles VII during the Hundred Years’ War with England, only to be burned at the stake two years later. Her heroism is legendary. Her story has been told in countless forms. One of the latest and most artistically creative tellings is “The Legend of Joan of Arc“, an acclaimed puppet film that brings her journey to life through “never-before-seen cinematic marionette action”. Now’s your chance to watch it at home – for free – through the end of April (you can watch the film in its entirety above).
Eight years in the making, “The Legend of Joan of Arc” is the fifth project from writer/director/puppet master Steven Ritz-Barr and Classics in Miniature®, a film series based on great works of literature — using beautifully designed, one-of-a-kind puppets. Steven’s epic ode to Joan brought together an international cast and crew, and features 25 carved characters by master puppet maker Eugene Seregin. Mark Twain’s novel, “Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc“, served as the film’s main literary inspiration.
Steven’s extensive research on this French country girl who changed the course of history, emerging as a nationalist, feminist, and religious icon (Joan of Arc was formally canonized as a saint of the Roman Catholic Church on May 16, 1920), is visible in every frame of the film.
To give voice to Joan, Steven cast Andia Winslow, marking the voiceover actor’s first animated feature film. A Yale alumna and founder of The Fit Cycle, Andia balances her immense artistic talent with activism and elite athleticism. Recognized globally for her innovative fitness and wellness efforts, Andia trained with Olympic Hall of Fame Track & Field Coach Brooks Johnson and was invited to join the USA Bobsled and Skeleton Federation in preparation for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. In 2006, she became the fourth African American to ever compete in the the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour, joining the distinguished ranks of trailblazing tennis champ, Althea Gibson, who also competed in the LPGA for over 10 years. Andia is a woman we are honored to count as a beloved member of our extended Women You Should Know family.
“The Legend of Joan of Arc”, which made its debut in Joan’s hometown of Domremy, France, runs 50 minutes. Steven Ritz-Barr and Classics in Miniature are offering this free view of the film until end of April (you can watch the film in its entirety above). They may extend this generous offer to the end of May, depending on how COVID-19 stay-at-home orders progress. So catch it now while you can.