Cultural film analysis Movie Review example
High school
Movie Review
Religion and Theology
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Cultural Film Analysis: Pope Joan The European culture of the 9th century is not well known, except for the fact that Charlemagne’s death in 814 A.D. had caused the division of the Frankish Empire. The cultural film Pope Joan relates to this era, focused on the legendary story of a woman ascending the throne of Peter to become a Pope of the universal Catholic Church.


In the movie, Johanna was the third child of a village priest and a converted heathen wife. The opening scene immediately showed anti-feminist bias, as the father angrily refused herbal medicine to alleviate his wife’s birth pains due to his belief that “in sorrow, thou (woman) shall give birth.” As she grew up, Johanna was not allowed education since only boys were taught reading and writing. Through self-learning, however, the intellectually gifted Johanna not only showed skill in reading and writing, but in interpreting Latin Bible verses as well. Catching her reading a Greek manuscript, Johanna’s father meted her a brutal lashing, even as he had once grossly raped his wife for teaching Johanna some heathen methods of natural healing. Upon recommendation of an admiring traveling schoolmaster, Johanna gained unprecedented admission to study in the bishop’s schoolhouse for boys. Gerald, a knight in the bishop’s court, provided her a home until she grew to maidenhood, resulting in the jealous wife of Gerald arranging Johanna’s betrothal to a young man against her will. The wedding was cut short by an attack by Norsemen bandits. ...
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