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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 11,207 users  
Reviews: 61 user | 41 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 All (9) »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 April 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Les communiants  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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 »
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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

When Thomas leaves to go to the suicide scene Marta's car is parked nearby. She follows him in her car. They leave the suicide scene in her car and his is never seen again. See more »

Quotes

Algot Frövik, Sexton: The passion of Christ, his suffering... Wouldn't you say the focus on his suffering is all wrong?
Tomas Ericsson, Pastor: What do you mean?
Algot Frövik, Sexton: This emphasis on physical pain. It couldn't have been all that bad. It may sound presumptuous of me - but in my humble way, I've suffered as much physical pain as Jesus. And his torments were rather brief. Lasting some four hours, I gather? I feel that he was tormented far worse on an other level. Maybe I've got it all wrong. But just think of Gethsemane, Vicar. Christ's disciples...
[...]
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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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