Anyone experienced with Bergman’s better-known films associate him with death, mortality, and the irrelevance of religion. In his most recognised film The Seventh Seal, Death is personified by Bengt Ekerot in a pitch-black cloak – but we can almost see Bergman’s face under that hood, casting a gloomy presence within his sumptuous oeuvre.
But in the ‘70s, these existential themes loosened in his work and he became more optimistic (to the criticism of some). In 1971, the year Ekerot died, Bergman’s 31st film The Touch opened to bad box-office takings and a poor response from critics – Roger Ebert claimed it was “a movie that no one liked that much”. I’m going to be controversial and say that, despite its issues, I like The Touch.
In a small medieval town in Sweden, a place where everyone knows everyone, happily-married Karin (Bibi Andersson) visits her mother in