Witchcraft Through the Ages (1922)


Directed by: Benjamin Christensen

Stars: Benjamin Christensen, Elisabeth Christensen, Maren Pedersen

Language: Silent | Subtitles: English (embed)

Country: Sweden | Imdb Info | Ar: 4:3 | Brrip

Also known as: Häxan

Description:  Fictionalized documentary showing the evolution of witchcraft, from its pagan roots to its confusion with hysteria in Eastern Europe.


4.86GB | 105:45mins | 966×720 | mkv | Silent | Sub: English


====bluray extra====

Witchcraft Through the Ages William S Burroughs version (1968)

1.71GB | 76:42mins | 768×576 | mkv | English

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16 Responses to Witchcraft Through the Ages (1922)

  1. Ariel Bender says:

    MovieLuvver has a valid point on file size. These larger files look beautiful but on the bigger files if you could keep them at a max of 4.37 GB it gives the option to burn to a DVD-R or +R when storage is limited. Really great stuff being uploaded, thanks!

  2. Smad says:

    Can someone post the IMDB code/link for the William S. Burroughs version?

    • rarelust says:

      Celebrating it’s 100th anniversary in 2022, Benjamin Christensen’s legendary 1922 film uses a series of dramatic vignettes to explore the scientific hypothesis that the witches of the Middle Ages suffered the same hysteria as turn-of-the-century psychiatric patients. But the film itself is far from serious; instead it’s a witches’ brew of the scary, gross, and darkly humorous.

      Featuring grave robbing, torture, possessed nuns, and a satanic Sabbath, it was censored in many countries at that time for its graphic depictions of the occult, torture, nudity, and sexual perversion, as well as anti-clericalism.

      The cult Swedish film (shot in Denmark), is partly based on Christensen’s own study of the Malleus Maleficarum, a 15th-century German guide for inquisitors. Christensen’s meticulous recreation of medieval scenes and its lengthy production period, the film was the most expensive Scandinavian silent film ever made.

      In 1968, an abbreviated version of the film (77 minutes) was released. This version features an eclectic jazz score by Daniel Humair (played by a quintet including Jean-Luc Ponty on violin and Daniel Humair on percussion) and dramatic narration by William S. Burroughs.

      • Enrober says:

        Thank you very, very much for this! William S. Burroughs is my favorite author, he was a genius.

        In the late 90s I saw a feature-length version of “Towers Open Fire” (Anthony Balch and WSB) that had some very long word loops, hypnotic, with a lot of Dream Machine interludes as well. Over the years I’ve found a few people on the Internet who have seen it as well, seems to have never made it past a VHS release.

        There is a common 9-minute version, and then a Psychic TV video which has something a bit similar as the feature-length version, but not the same. The one I am referring to may have been from Mystic Fire Video (now defunct; a source of fantastic and rare videos in general, IMO they would fit well here.)

        Please continue with your excellent work!

  3. temnix says:

    I don’t know about the 1968 addition or remake, but the original is very impressive. The old women in particular. Together with the coloring and vignettes it manages to illustrate what things must have been like in the middle ages… but we have no language today to talk about them. All of our words and systems for approaching the supernatural are washed out and dead, and the most one can get is an “anthropology”…

    • Mr.G. says:

      Arguable if the entire world has left the “middle ages” behind or denounced superstition. Humanity progresses at different speeds.

  4. Mr.G. says:

    I should say description of this fully restored/tinted version rather better than IMDB: Grave robbing, torture, possessed nuns, and a satanic Sabbath: Benjamin Christensen’s legendary silent film uses a series of dramatic vignettes to explore the scientific hypothesis that the witches of the Middle Ages and early modern era suffered from the same ills as psychiatric patients diagnosed with hysteria in the film’s own time. Far from a dry dissertation on the topic, the film itself is a witches’ brew of the scary, the gross, and the darkly humorous. Christensen’s mix-and-match approach to genre anticipates gothic horror, documentary re-creation, and the essay film, making for an experience unlike anything else in the history of cinema. [Film is Danish with Swedish interitles subtitled in English/the devil in the movie is played by the director himself/Tulard (1990) describes images of the evocation of Sabbath “like Bosch and Goya”].

    Extra: Witchcraft Through the Ages (1968), a 76mis version of Häxan narrated by author William S. Burroughs, with a soundtrack featuring [Frank Zappa’s Hot Rats] violinist Jean-Luc Ponty, Michel Portal (free Jazz sax), and more.

  5. Ariel Bender says:

    Well, I see you leave me no choice. I’ll have to purchase yet another portable hard drive. That’ll be SEVEN 2TB drives full of nothing but Rarelust. It’s either that or cloud storage. I just tell myself, it’s cheaper than burning. People ask, “where are you finding all this crazy shit?” Soon, you’ll be legend.

    • MovieLuvver says:

      yeah…file sizes are getting out of hand, especially for older 1 1/2 hour movies :(

    • Smad says:

      … within this site’s users, he already is a legend!!!!!

    • Enrober says:

      File size will become less and less relevant. Think of how it will look on displays of the future, instead. Preserving better quality is more important for the long term… By the way, you should back up to cloud and maintain your own. Two copies to avoid data loss… the more the merrier, and you are assured access with your own copy.

  6. OSMOSIS says:

    The “Classic” ’68 ‘Documentary’ version is cool, but it’s that original 1920’s version you really want. “Hardcore” is a NICE WAY of describing it. Thanks, Rarelust.

  7. HrNn says:

    I was wishing this one since long ago Mega thank you!!!!!!

  8. Mr.G. says:

    …and Happy Easter RL!

  9. Mr.G. says:

    Awesome! Thanks.

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