IMDb > Winter Light (1963)
Nattvardsgästerna
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Winter Light (1963) More at IMDbPro »Nattvardsgästerna (original title)

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Overview

User Rating:
8.0/10   11,210 votes »
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Director:
Writer:
Ingmar Bergman (writer)
Contact:
View company contact information for Winter Light on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
5 April 1963 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
A small town priest struggles with his faith. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
1 win See more »
NewsDesk:
Ingmar Bergman: 1918-2007
 (From IMDb News. 30 July 2007)

User Reviews:
"God, my God! Why hast thou forsaken me?" See more (61 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Ingrid Thulin ... Märta Lundberg, Schoolteacher

Gunnar Björnstrand ... Tomas Ericsson, Pastor
Gunnel Lindblom ... Karin Persson

Max von Sydow ... Jonas Persson
Allan Edwall ... Algot Frövik, Sexton
Kolbjörn Knudsen ... Knut Aronsson, Warden
Olof Thunberg ... Fredrik Blom, Organist
Elsa Ebbesen ... Magdalena Ledfors, Widow
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lars-Olof Andersson ... Young boy (uncredited)
Eddie Axberg ... Johan Strand, Schoolboy (uncredited)
Tor Borong ... Johan Åkerblom, Homesteader (uncredited)
Lars-Owe Carlberg ... Parish Constable (uncredited)
Ingmari Hjort ... Persson's daughter (uncredited)
Stefan Larsson ... Persson's son (uncredited)
Johan Olafs ... Gentleman with Horse (uncredited)
Bertha Sånnell ... Hanna Appelblad, Baker with Daughter (uncredited)
Christer Öhman ... Young boy (uncredited)

Directed by
Ingmar Bergman 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Ingmar Bergman  writer

Produced by
Allan Ekelund .... producer
 
Original Music by
Evald Andersson (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Sven Nykvist 
 
Film Editing by
Ulla Ryghe 
 
Production Design by
P.A. Lundgren 
 
Costume Design by
Mago 
 
Makeup Department
Börje Lundh .... makeup artist
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Lenn Hjortzberg .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Karl-Arne Bergman .... props
 
Sound Department
Evald Andersson .... sound effects
Stig Flodin .... sound
Brian Wikström .... sound
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Rolf Holmquist .... assistant camera
Gerhard Carlsson .... electrician (uncredited)
Peter Wester .... camera operator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Lars-Owe Carlberg .... location manager
Katinka Faragó .... continuity clerk
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
  • Aga  sound equipment

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Nattvardsgästerna" - Sweden (original title)
"The Communicants" - International (English title) (literal title)
See more »
Runtime:
81 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Finland:K-16 | Netherlands:18 (orginal rating) | Sweden:15 | UK:PG | UK:A (original rating) | USA:Not Rated | West Germany:16

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:
Continuity: 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 »
Quotes:
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.See more »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

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59 out of 78 people found the following review useful.
"God, my God! Why hast thou forsaken me?", 26 April 2005
Author: Alexandar (acanovakovic@gmail.com) from Nis, Serbia

"I think I have made just one picture that I really like, and that is Winter Light…Everything is exactly as I wanted to have it, in every second of this picture." – Ingmar Bergman

"Winter Light" concentrates around the middle-aged priest named Thomas (extraordinarilly played by Gunnar Björnstrand) of a small Swedish church and his spiritual and emotional struggles during the one winter afternoon.

Tomas founds himself as a non-believer. He realized that he actually became a priest because he was weak, anxious and neurotic and not because of his faith. As a young man, not knowing the REAL world and its TRUE nature, Tomas became a priest. His wife was everything to him, yes. She encouraged his "believes". With her, his believes (or self-deceptions) were stable, steady. After her death, they were shaken (so were his whole life and its purposes) because he encountered the "real world".

After his wife's death he met Marta, schoolteacher – simple and realistic woman (played by brilliant Ingrid Thulin). Marta is in love with him. But he is bored with her and avoids her. Reasons for that are not very clear to the viewer or Tomas himself. He feels isolated and detached from the rest of the world. All the meanings and purposes of his life suddenly disappeared. Whole his life was one big – LIE.

So, why is he avoiding Marta? She is the real representation of the ''real world'' since being an atheist. Marta is the symbol of his failure, she ''reminds'' him that he dedicated whole his life to – nothing.

This is not, however, a religious film. It's a lot more exploring the real human nature and its possible ''faults''. It raises some universal issues like: ''Am I doing good things because I am a good person (because I have a good character) or because I am afraid of the consequences (because I am weak, fearful)''?

"Winter Light" is also masterfully crafted movie with formal elements absolutely supporting (and adding to) the issues of the script. It is a very cold movie with no music (intentionally). Sven Nykvist, Bergman's cinematographer did excellent job with his contrasted black and white photography, focuses and mise-en-scene conjuring up the emotional isolation and distances between the characters.

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