Saturday, May 05, 2012

France celebrates Joan of Arc's 600th birthday

The normally tranquil city of Orleans is buzzing with festivities over the next two weeks to mark the 600th birthday of one of France's best cultural exports: Joan of Arc.

Looking appropriately cinematic, the Loire River swarmed with wooden boats carrying locals in medieval garb last week, re-enacting Joan of Arc's famous entry into the city in 1429.

The day that saw Orleans liberated from English invaders has been dramatized in film the world over, most famously in 1948's Oscar-winning epic of the French martyr with Ingrid Bergman, and more recently, in Luc Besson's award-winning 1999 blockbuster with Milla Jovovich.

Joan's place in the history books has not only been sealed through cinema, but also through myriad novels, poems, rock songs, operas and plays over the centuries — making her one of the most talked-about figures in history.

Click here to read this article from the Chicago Daily Herald

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