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Through a Glass Darkly (1961)

Såsom i en spegel (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 16 October 1961 (Sweden)
Recently released from a mental hospital; Karin rejoins her emotionally disconnected family and their island home, only to slip from reality as she begins to believe she is being visited by God.

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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...
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Lars Passgård ...
Minus
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Storyline

A young woman, Karin, has recently returned to the family island after spending some time in a mental hospital. On the island with her is her lonely brother and kind, but increasingly desperate husband ('Max von Sydow'). They are joined by Karin's father ('Gunnar Björnstrand'), who is a world-traveling author that is estranged to his children. The film depicts how Karin's grip on reality slowly slips away and how the bonds between the family members are changing in light of this fact. Written by Mio

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

16 October 1961 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Through a Glass Darkly  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First feature film for editor Ulla Ryghe. See more »

Goofs

When Martin and David are taking up nets in the boat, Martin puts his pipe in his mouth and then takes the oars and starts to row. In the next shot, the pipe is gone. See more »

Quotes

Karin: It's so horrible to see your own confusion and understand it.
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Connections

Followed by Winter Light (1963) See more »

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User Reviews

absolutely touching and penetrating, tragic and sad
4 November 2001 | by (ny) – See all my reviews

this is one of bergman's most serious and devastating, sometimes horribly depressing and (it's only flaw) a little too heavy handed for even the toughest and healthiest viewers. it is fascinating to watch bergman come to terms with the absence of god and man's tragic isolation in an indifferent universe through the art he uses like no one else could or does, the art of film. karin is a mentally disordered young woman, intensely loved by her family and well cared for but nonetheless subject to bouts of extreme madness and delusions of divinity that are so convincing and well performed as to be hard to watch (particularly the scene where she is convinced that a deity disguised as a spider is going to crawl out of a closet). although it ends on a semi hopeful note, the film's atmosphere is largely one of sterility, emotional dryness, impoverishment and despair. karin lives on an isolated island just as we inhabit a vast, incomprehensible universe that is essentially little but a doomed speck of dust in a monstrous cosmos that does not care. i think there can be little debate as to the correct interpretation of this movie, which is the utter void at the center of false human beliefs and illusions of happiness or omnipotence. order is a lie and religious belief is founded on deliberate self deception. a masterpiece of the most passionate artistry and integrity.


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