The Holy Fool in European Cinema

Front Cover
Routledge, Feb 5, 2016 - Religion - 220 pages

This monograph explores the way that the profile and the critical functions of the holy fool have developed in European cinema, allowing this traditional figure to capture the imagination of new generations in an age of religious pluralism and secularization. Alina Birzache traces the cultural origins of the figure of the holy fool across a variety of European traditions. In so doing, she examines the critical functions of the holy fool as well as how filmmakers have used the figure to respond to and critique aspects of the modern world. Using a comparative approach, this study for the first time offers a comprehensive explanation of the enduring appeal of this protean and fascinating cinematic character. Birzache examines the trope of holy foolishness in Soviet and post-Soviet cinema, French cinema, and Danish cinema, corresponding broadly to and permitting analysis of the three main orientations in European Christianity: Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant. This study will be of keen interest to scholars of religion and film, European cinema, and comparative religion.


What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


List of Figures
The Pauline Holy Fool and Its Successors
The Holy Fool in Soviet
Holy Fools in the Films of Andrei Tarkovsky
The Suffering Fool in French Cinema
The Bressonian Holy Fool
The Foolis Challenge to Reason in Danish Cinema
The Dogme 95 Movement

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2016)

Alina G. Birzache was an assistant lecturer at the Faculty of Orthodox Theology in Bucharest before she moved to the United Kingdom where she obtained a PhD from the University of Edinburgh. She has interests in religious representations in art, literature and film and has published on these topics.

Bibliographic information