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Prior to its initial release the film was censored by the Catholic Church. A few months after release a fire destroyed the negative and virtually all prints. Dreyer reconstructed the film from what still existed. This second version was also destroyed in a fire. Highly corrupt surviving prints circulated for a while, also the Cinematheque Francaise discovered a copy of the film in its vaults. Around 1950 a French film historian , Lo Duca, pieced together his own version and added a score that was a montage of Albinoni, Vivaldi, and other Baroque composers. Dreyer was horrified and disowned Duca's version. Then, in the early 1980's a print was discovered in a closet of a mental institution in Oslo, Norway. The film was sent to the Norwegian Film Institute where it was found to be a copy of the original 1928 version with Danish intertitles.
Another restoration version was made in 1985 by the Cinematheque Francaise under the direction of Vincent Pinel, using the same Danish print in the Danske Filmmuseum in Copenhagen. Intertitles were translated from Danish to French by Michel Drouzy. It uses the score "Visions of Light" by Richard Einhorn and runs 82 minutes.
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