Musée d'Orsay: The Scarlet Letter

The Scarlet Letter

Victor Sjöström
1926. Silent. USA
98 min

In 17th century New England, Hester Pryne, whose husband has been kept prisoner by an Indian tribe for many years, gives birth to a daughter. She is condemned to be publicly humiliated as an adulteress.

Lillian Gish initiated this project and had to convince the church authorities to lift the ban on the book. She embodies the freshness and vitality of life in the face of a brutal and intolerant society. In Hawthorne’s work, Sjöström discovered the themes closest to his heart: the portrayal of ordinary people and a critical rejection of Puritanism.

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