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

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  5 April 1963 (USA)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 12,044 users  
Reviews: 64 user | 43 critic

A small town priest struggles with his faith.

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Title: Winter Light (1963)

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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:

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Release Date:

5 April 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Les communiants  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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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

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

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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Featured in The Story of Film: An Odyssey: Episode #1.7 (2011) 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.


74 of 86 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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