Segments in this Video

Canto I: Part 1 (05:02)


Dante becomes lost in the forest. He comes across a leopard, a lion, and a she-wolf. A scholar describes the symbolism behind these animals.

Canto I: Part 2 (05:18)

Dante comes across a presence. It is Virgil, the poet. Dante then comes across a hound. Scholars interject analyses of Virgil and the hound.

Canto II: Part 1 (05:29)

Day departs and Dante prepares himself for his journey. Hell is divided into nine areas. Beatrice explains how she sent Virgil to help Dante. The "real" Beatrice was a neighbor of Dante's.

Canto II: Part 2 (04:29)

Beatrice becomes Dante's guide. She describes the Virgin Mary and Lucia of Syracuse, Dante's patron saint. These three ladies form a trinity. Dante becomes inspired by Beatrice.

Canto III: Part 1 (05:48)

Coming to the gate of Hell, Dante and Virgil hear sighs and cries of souls who have no hope of death. Dante recognizes one man whom scholars say is a pope. Wasps and hornets attack the souls.

Canto III: Part 2 (04:10)

Dante and Virgil meet Charon, the ferryman, who takes the souls across the river to Purgatory. Rejected from the boat, people throw themselves in the river. A great light throws Dante into a sleep.

Canto IV: Part 1 (04:35)

After thunder awakens Dante, he and Virgil descend into the first ring called "Limbo" for sinless souls who lacked Christianity. Virgil tells of Christ’s descent into Hell. They meet Homer, the poet.

Canto IV: Part 2 (05:21)

The castle tower’s seven walls and gates represent the seven virtues. Scholars explain about the various women (i.e. Electra, Camilla) and philosophers (i.e. Aristotle, Euclid) Dante meets.

Canto V: Part 1 (04:15)

Dante and Virgil descend to the second circle, that of Carnal Sinners. They meet Minos, who determines how many levels each soul should fall. Starlings and cranes represent the carnal sinners.

Canto V: Part 2 (05:43)

Dante is introduced to some of the famous Carnal Sinners: Semiramis, Sichaeus, Cleopatra, Helen, Achilles, Paris, and Tristan. Francesca explains how love caused them to be in that circle of Hell.

Canto VI: Part 1 (04:59)

In the third circle, endless rain and hail fall on the people. Here Cerberus barks at the people. One soul, Ciacco, sits up and addresses Dante about their sin of gluttony, the result of pride and greed.

Canto VI: Part 2 (04:59)

The "divided city citizens" of whom Dante inquires are those of Florence. He asks about others whose sins drove them to deeper levels. Virgil and Dante meet Pluto, man's arch enemy.

Canto VII: Part 1 (05:21)

The fourth circle represents those with the sin of Avarice, including popes and bishops. The most crowded circle thus far, the people "counterdance" due to their contradictory sins.

Canto VII: Part 2 (04:38)

Virgil tells Dante about the pagan goddess Fortuna and her role in astronomy. They then pass a boiling spring that drains into the river Styx. The people there fight with their whole bodies.

Canto VIII: Part 1 (05:06)

In the fifth circle Dante and Virgil meet Phlegyas who rows them across the river. They recognize Filippo Argenti even though he was covered with mud.

Canto VIII: Part 2 (03:44)

Wailing catches Dante's attention. They reach the city of Dis. After the people talk privately with Virgil, they leave, slamming the gates behind them in insolence against God.

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Dante's Inferno

DVD Price: $99.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $149.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $99.95



This ambitious program, produced by the award-winning film director Peter Greenaway and internationally known artist Tom Phillips, brings to life the first eight cantos of Dante’s Inferno. Featuring a cast that includes Sir John Gielgud as Virgil, the cantos are not conventionally dramatized. Instead, the feeling of Dante’s poem is conveyed through juxtaposed imagery that conjures up a contemporary vision of hell, and its meaning is deciphered in visual sidebars by eminent scholars who interpret Dante’s metaphors and symbolism. Contains nudity. (8 segments, 11 minutes each)

Length: 91 minutes

Item#: BVL6276

ISBN: 978-0-7365-5639-2

Copyright date: ©1993

Closed Captioned

Reviews & Awards

Prix Italia Special Prize


New York International Film & TV Festival finalist


“Nothing quite like it has been seen on television before. The extraordinary, multi-layered images on the screen are not so much state-of-the-art video but the state after that….”—The Times of London


“A dazzling and inventive piece of video-image eye-stitching use of television.”—The Manchester Guardian

Performance Rights

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