A young woman, Karin, has recently returned to the family island after spending some time in a mental hospital. On the island with her is her lonely brother and kind, but increasingly ... See full summary »
Max von Sydow
"The Silence" is about the emotional distance between two sisters. The younger one is still attractive enough to pick up a lover in a strange city. The older one -- even though she is very ... See full summary »
Andreas, a man struggling with the recent demise of his marriage and his own emotional isolation, befriends a married couple also in the midst of psychological turmoil. In turn he meets ... See full summary »
Apu is a jobless former student dreaming vaguely of a future as a writer. An old college friend talks him into a visit up-country to a village wedding. This changes his life, for when the ... See full summary »
How do we understand faith and prayer, and what of miracles? August 1925 on a Danish farm. Patriarch Borgen has three sons: Mikkel, a good-hearted agnostic whose wife Inger is pregnant, ... See full summary »
Carl Theodor Dreyer
Emil Hass Christensen,
Preben Lerdorff Rye
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
A considerable amount of the scenes had to be re-shot due to technical problems with sound and film stock. See more »
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 »
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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Right near the top of my Bergman list and any other list
After watching this film 4 or 5 times over the years, it has moved into the top spot on my Bergman list and is one of my all time favorite movies. There is not a wasted moment in this film. It consists of one great set piece after another. What a cast! Gunnar Bjornstrand gives the best performance of a clergyman since Claude Laydu in Diary of a Country Priest and even outshines him due to the interaction with the rest of the cast. Ingrid Thulin is just outstanding as his former mistress, not only in the long closeup where she bares her soul to Bjornstrand through a letter she has written, but in several scenes where she endures humiliation after humiliation from him in an effort to cut through the wall he has built around his emotions. We also have the little community of church inhabitants--the cynical organist, the hunchbacked handyman, the stern rector. Each one challenges Bjornstrand's faith in a different way. Above all, we have Max von Sydow as a depressed parishioner, looking to the pastor for a reason to continue living and finding none. As we learn in the supplementary material to the Criterion DVD, Bjornstrand was quite sick with bronchitis during filming and this adds to the credibility of his performance. This is absolutely a 10 out of 10. A great,great film.
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