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

 -  Drama  -  5 April 1963 (USA)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 11,782 users  
Reviews: 63 user | 41 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

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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:

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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

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

Referenced in Man Exposed (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

Right near the top of my Bergman list and any other list
16 August 2004 | by (Scottsdale, AZ) – See all my reviews

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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