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Winter Light (1963)
"Nattvardsgästerna" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  5 April 1963 (USA)
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 10,876 users  
Reviews: 57 user | 40 critic

A small town priest struggles with his faith.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Gunnel Lindblom ...
...
Allan Edwall ...
Algot Frövik, Sexton
Kolbjörn Knudsen ...
Knut Aronsson, Warden
Olof Thunberg ...
Fredrik Blom, Organist
Elsa Ebbesen ...
Magdalena Ledfors, Widow
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Storyline

On a cold winter's Sunday, the pastor of a small rural church (Tomas Ericsson) performs service for a tiny congregation; though he is suffering from a cold and a severe crisis of faith. After the service, he attempts to console a fisherman (Jonas Persson) who is tormented by anxiety, but Tomas can only speak about his own troubled relationship with God. A school teacher (Maerta Lundberg) offers Tomas her love as consolation for his loss of faith. But Tomas resists her love as desperately as she offers it to him. This is the second in Bergman's trilogy of films dealing with man's relationship with God. Written by <amanderik@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

faith | pastor | winter | priest | suicide | See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

5 April 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Les communiants  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When she saw the completed film, Ingmar Bergman's then wife Kabi Laretei said, "Yes, Ingmar, it's a masterpiece. But it's a dreary masterpiece." See more »

Goofs

Märta's near-sightedness is mentioned in the dialogue when she says that without her glasses, Tomas appears fuzzy to her. He even counts her nearsightedness as one of the things he hates about her. But the lenses she wears appear to be of clear glass. See more »

Quotes

Märta Lundberg, Schoolteacher: God, why have you created me so eternally dissatisfied? So frightened, so bitter? Why must I realize how wretched I am? Why must I suffer so hellishly for my insignificance? If there is a purpose to my suffering, then tell me, so I can bear my pain without complaint. I'm strong. You made me so very strong in both body and soul, but you never give me a task worthy of my strength. Give my life meaning, and I'll be your obedient slave.
See more »

Connections

Follows Through a Glass Darkly (1961) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The closest thing to a perfect film I've ever seen
22 July 2000 | by (California) – See all my reviews

It's a real shame that you are unlikely to find this movie in your local video rental store. It's relentlessly concentrated, uncompromising and beautiful. It's paced slowly at the beginning, drawing the viewer in, but repays the effort you put in (and it's pretty short).

The story focuses on a disillusioned priest in a remote village who is unable to accept the love offered him by Marta, his friend, and unable to offer the conviction of his faith to save a fisherman from suicide. There are several hidden references to the crucifixion: the time covered in the movie (noon to 3 pm) is the same as the time Jesus spent on the cross; the location of Marta's skin disease corresponds to the "stigmata" or wounds from the nails.

I can't recommend this film strongly enough. Every time I see it I am stunned by the beauty and meaning in every single frame.


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