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Winter Light (1963)

Nattvardsgästerna (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 5 April 1963 (USA)
A small town priest struggles with his faith.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Gunnel Lindblom ...
...
...
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 (11) »

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Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

5 April 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Les communiants  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Goofs

When Tomas leaves the church to go to the scene of the suicide there is a lot of snow on his car and on the ground. But, when he arrives at the scene, the car is clean and there is no sign of snow on the ground. 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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Connections

Featured in Bergman Island (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
perfect
20 December 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

possibly my absolute favorite Bergman film. Gorgeous, the way a fresh blanket of snow on a frigidly cold winter night is.

Brutally bleak, "Winter Light" may be about losing religious faith, but I don't think you have to have a religious faith to identity with Gunnar Bjornstrand's character, the pastor of a small town. His "faith" is as much a will to live as anything else.

Bjornstrand and Ingrid Thulin are amazingly good, and Max von Sydow does more with a few subtle expressions, and very little dialog, than most any actor is capable of.

Not a film to watch in the dead of winter if you suffer from SAD, unless you're like me and get a perverse type of therapy from confronting the hopelessness head first.


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