Was Häxan, The Witch, the first and most perverse exploitation film, replete with Satanic debauchery, or the original classic of documentary cinema? Benjamin Christensens macabre 1922 masterpiece is the first true film maudit and the worlds first cult movie. This taboo-shattering work occupies an exclusive niche in the annals of horror cinema. Greeted by angry protests upon release, it was censored, banned and condemned everywhere. Even today, it is widely considered both the most morbid and perverse film ever made, as well as a sober, scientific and thoroughly human document. To Christensen it was the consuming obsession of his life, the film he was put on earth to make. It was a labour of love that would win him a kind of immortality that hung over the rest of his career like a dark shadow. Who was this mysterious man, Benjamin Christensen, and what really drove him to create this extraordinary epic? Delving into the original Danish source material, author Jack Stevenson places Häxan within the context of Christensens wider career, and also within the context of the times. Amazingly, many of the issues that embroiled this film upon its release are still being hotly debated today.