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
Did You Know?
Bergman's friend, the writer and later film director Vilgot Sjöman, was early involved in the project. He would later become the film's assistant director, and documented his experiences in the excellent book L-136: Diary with Ingmar Bergman. See more
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
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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