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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 10,791 users  
Reviews: 56 user | 38 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 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

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 Bergman Island (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Love, God and Silence
2 November 2010 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

In the cold winter in the countryside of Sweden, the pastor Tomas Ericsson (Gunnar Björnstrand) is a bitter man living a crisis of lack of faith in God after the death of his beloved wife two years ago. After the mass, Karin Persson (Gunnel Lindblom) seeks out the pastor with her husband, the fisherman Jonas Persson (Max von Sydow), and tells that Jonas is tormented by an existential crisis when he learns that China has an atomic bomb and intends to commit suicide. Tomas unsuccessfully attempts to comfort Jonas but he is not convincing due to his lack of faith and Jonas kills himself with a shot of rifle in his head. Meanwhile, the schoolteacher Märta Lundberg (Ingrid Thulin) is in love with Tomas, but the widowed pastor rejects her love with bitter and tough words. In the end, Tomas discusses with the sacristan the true suffering of Jesus Christ in the Passion of Christ.

"Nattvardsgästerna" is the second part of Bergman's Trilogy of Silence with an unpleasant story of unrequited love, lack of communication and lack of faith on God. The pastor Tomas Ericsson is one of the bitterest characters that I have ever seen, and his speech to Märta Lundberg is one of the cruelest and coldest of a man to a woman in love. The performances are awesome as usual in a Bergman's film, with wonderful black-and-white cinematography, and this cold film does not have soundtrack. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Luz de Inverno" ("Light of Winter")


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