The Burning Times

This documentary takes an in-depth look at the witch hunts that swept Europe just a few hundred years ago. False accusations and trials led to massive torture and burnings at the stake and ultimately to the destruction of an organic way of life. The film questions whether the widespread violence against women and the neglect of our environment today can be traced back to those times. Part two of a series of three films on women and spirituality, which includes Goddess Remembered and Full Circle.

Pedagogical evaluations and study guides are only available to CAMPUS subscribers.


Features designed specifically for teachers

Learn more   Already subscribed? Sign in.


  • merlinsdreams

    “A very powerful, moving and thought provoking film. What i find disturbing is the level of fear generated and instilled into the population by the authorities. The film brings to light that period of European history which was responsible for the torture and execution of so many women - the exact number we can only guess at - it was all the more powerful for this. Reducing this terrible time to mere superstition is a travesty of history; the film does much to dispell such myths and in a clear, coherent manner, explains the reasoning behind what at first appears to be insanity - I thought the points made about women and property and their exclusion from education to be especially potent - and it makes me shudder to see in our own times such attitudes directed against women. I was glad to hear therefore female voices reclaiming their history, spirituality and presence in the world throughout this wonderful educational film.” — merlinsdreams, 30 Aug 2014

  • key2rebecca

    “I just broke down and cried after watching this......” — key2rebecca, 11 Mar 2013

  • vk

    “As a scholar on this subject and practitioner, I found it to be wonderful. The inaccuracies others have mentioned seem to be subjective in their views. ” — vk, 19 Feb 2013

  • SierraBloom

    “Brilliant... finally after 50, 000 years of patriarchy we hear the truth.” — SierraBloom, 21 Dec 2012

  • Taran

    “After many years *hearing* about the inaccuracies of "The Burning Times", I finally saw it here, and made a video exploring some of the issues with the film:” — Taran, 19 Oct 2012

  • the_scarlet_manuka

    “Remarkable documentary for it's thoughtful examination into the barbaric and disgraceful state of fear and selfishness that led to the destruction and persecution of a beautiful tradition (the sacred feminine). We're only today just coming out of the end of the aftermath of this conduct, still apparent after over four hundred years; men and women today, thank God (or the Goddess as you please) should seek every opportunity to examine and question what happened that it NEVER happens again.. ” — the_scarlet_manuka, 4 May 2012

  • MOSAherne

    “Interesting. A pleasant looking woman -Barbara Harris-who spoke meaningfully on this subject-which hopefully doesn't make me sound 'leery'. I just fell under her spell. This is a good informative documentary. If Hollywood 'gets wind of it'-they quite possibly would entitle it " Hot Girls!-the truth hurts" OK-please forgive my two indiscretions. I know more about the subject than I did before;and have even more respect-for women. qv-my piece on Canadian Car women during WW2. Maurice (not a morris) Aherne” — MOSAherne, 4 Dec 2011

  • uh8myzen

    “So much of our "civilization" is built on a foundation of cruelty and wrongful persecution especially, it seems, by those institutions who have set themselves up as moral or ethical authorities. Documentaries such as this serve to remind us all how we got where we are today, to awknowledge those who have suffered under the yoke of prejudice, and hopefully act as a catalyst to right our ancestor's wrongs. Great film!” — uh8myzen, 13 Sep 2011

  • Esobella

    “Great Video as was the first Goddess Remembered! Would really like to view Full Circle. I agree that it should be shown in churches everywhere.” — Esobella, 30 May 2011

  • “This is a documentary which should be shown in churches everywhere. This Holocaust perpetuated by the church(es) deserves to be acknowledged. In 2010, the Lutheran World Federation apologized for the involvement and complicity in the persecution of Anabaptists (i.e. Mennonites in the middle and late medieval periods. I wonder if all the churches might one day apologize for all women who were tortured and condemned as witches. I suppose there is as much chance of that as there is for the Church of Rome to apologize for the Inquisition.” —, 20 Feb 2011

  • ams599

    “A lot of the information given in this movie is very inaccurate. ” — ams599, 2 Nov 2010

  • CullenTOONS

    “I was not aware of this informative Movie nor book. Thank you so much for sharing! It is another sad example of man's inhumanity to man and especially women. Our species make poor choices that are horribly blackened with our religious beliefs and our quest for the truth and our ideas about who "GOD" is.” — CullenTOONS, 10 Oct 2010

  • Beepath

    “I had a copy of "The Burning Times," loaned it out and it wasn't returned. That's fine, I hope it goes everywhere and seen by many. That was 20 long years ago and this film was information I desperately needed. Now, I can share it on Facebook with so many friends ready for this information. Thank you so much Donna Read and young Jason who posted it. ” — Beepath, 29 Jul 2010

Discuss this film Please sign in to add your comment
Not a member ? Click here

Film Credits

Donna Read
Mary Armstrong
Margaret Pettigrew
Signe Johansson
executive producer
Rina Fraticelli
Kathleen Shannon
Erna Buffie
Susan Trow
Diane Carrière
Judith Merritt
Donna Read
sound editing
Jackie Newell
Jean-Pierre Joutel
Shelley Craig
Martha Henry
Loreena McKennitt

Find Similar Films