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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 10,992 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

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Release Date:

5 April 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Les communiants  »

Filming Locations:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A considerable amount of the scenes had to be re-shot due to technical problems with sound and film stock. See more »

Goofs

In the vestry (or office) to the side of the church, as Tomas realises that he believes life is more understandable without the presence of God, the light through the window behind him intensifies. Assuming the church building has an east-west orientation (as churches tend to do), the light is coming from a northerly direction. Yet, when he later re-enters the church proper (and collapses by the altar rail), the sun is clearly visible, low in the sky, through the window at the opposite (southern) side of the building. 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.
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Connections

Follows Through a Glass Darkly (1961) See more »

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User Reviews

Keep some hot coffee or tea nearby.
8 November 2005 | by (Ronn Ives/FUTURES Antiques, Norfolk, VA.) – See all my reviews

"Winter Light" (Swedish, 1962): Just prepare yourself. Bergman is at his depressive best here. If you've ever lived in an environment that is perpetually cold, wet, and gray, you'll understand. If not, well, this film will illustrate it for you. A preacher, in serious depression himself, is losing his flock. His flock has rampant depression too. He tries to help, but it's useless. He starts looking for answers from them. No one has answers. Things happen. Nothing happens. It's the same old thing today, and tomorrow. This film requires patience. Expect no action. Even a scene change begins to seem like excitement – which is exactly what Bergman wanted for you. One scene, in which a major character "narrates" a letter she wrote to the preacher, is amazing. With a blank background, she stares into the lens of the camera, and talks "at" you – for pages. What a gutsy thing to do in a MOVING PICTURE. Avoid this film if you want more than thinking and feeling as results.


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