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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 11,076 users  
Reviews: 59 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

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Release Date:

5 April 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Les communiants  »

Filming Locations:

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Technical Specs

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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

Featured in Bergman Island (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Captivating, but so cold
30 January 2003 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

This is a captivating film, one of Bergman's most inward-looking and cold pieces.

The performances are terrific. Gunnar Bjornstrand is at his excellent best, Max von Syndow is predictably good. I would single out the women performers for particular praise in this film: Ingrid Thulin is outstanding as the spinster who cannot break the ice that encloses Bjornstrand's pastor. Gunnel Lindblom plays a small but superb part as the desperate wife of the suicidal von Syndow.

This is not plot and action stuff, nor is it any good for you if seeing depression in others makes you depressed. It is a microscope study of desperation and depression. It is a small canvas film – my personal preference is for Bergman's larger canvas work such as The Seventh Seal and especially Wild Strawberries. Of his darker, psychological work, again I would express a preference for Persona and also Through a Glass Darkly. But I'm comparing greatness with greatness – if you like Bergman's work this one's a must see.


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