Two estranged sisters, Ester and Anna, and Anna's 10-year-old son travel to the Central European country on the verge of war. Ester becomes seriously ill and the three of them move into a hotel in a small town called Timoka.
In the midst of a civil war, former violinists Jan and Eva Rosenberg, who have a tempestuous marriage, run a farm on a rural island. In spite of their best efforts to escape their homeland, the war impinges on every aspect of their lives.
A young woman, Karin, has recently returned to the family island after spending some time in a mental hospital. On the island with her is her lonely brother and kind, but increasingly desperate husband ('Max von Sydow'). They are joined by Karin's father ('Gunnar Björnstrand'), who is a world-traveling author that is estranged to his children. The film depicts how Karin's grip on reality slowly slips away and how the bonds between the family members are changing in light of this fact.Written by
Somewhat uncharacteristically, Ingmar Bergman heaped praise on the finished film. He remarked that "the film is above reproach technically and dramatically." See more »
When Martin and David are taking up nets in the boat, Martin puts his pipe in his mouth and then takes the oars and starts to row. In the next shot, the pipe is gone. See more »
I'm an artist.
Yes, Princess, a thoroughbred artist: a poet with no poems, a painter with no pictures, a musician with no music. I despise ready... made art, the banal result of vulgar effort. My life is my work and dedicated to my love for you.
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"For now we see through a glass, darkly"- Bible, 1 Corinthians xiii. 12.
Well, we don't see darkly through a glass, and Bergman explains in his "Introductions" that during the ancient times, there were no glass, the mirrors were made of metal, bronze, for instance and while looking through the metal mirror, the face and the background appear darker than in reality. Does it mean that when we look inside ourselves like in the mirror, we appear darker and more sinister than we are? Or the other way around?
"Through a Glass Darkly" is a typically great Bergman's film - four people arrive to an isolated island to spend a few days together, a young woman, her husband, father, and brother. They seem to love one another and are perfectly happy and comfortable in the beginning. It does not last long - not in the Bergman's world. Harriet Anderson was amazing as Karin, a mentally sick young woman, who was just released from the hospital but I believe three other actors playing Father (Gunnar Bjornstrand), Husband (Max von Sydow), and Brother (Lars Passgård) were as good as she was. The Father was especially interesting - he was a reason Karin became ill on the first place and his diary sent her to the total mental breakdown. As with "Persona" and "Autumn Sonata", Bergman is asking again how far is an Artist willing to go for his Art? Here, Father, the writer wants to be a cool and remote observer of his daughter's mental tragedy as a study for his future work. There is a hope, though, in the end. Not for Karin - it is too late for her - but for her confused young brother who is also fighting for his sanity and desperately needs his father's love and understanding. His last words - "Daddy talked to me" - give this bleak and tragic story the hope that his life could be different. Or maybe not...
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