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
This film is in the Official Top 250 Narrative Feature Films on Letterboxd. See more »
In the vestry (or office) to the side of the church, as Tomas realises that he believes life is more understandable without the presence of God, the light through the window behind him intensifies. Assuming the church building has an east-west orientation (as churches tend to do), the light is coming from a northerly direction. Yet, when he later re-enters the church proper (and collapses by the altar rail), the sun is clearly visible, low in the sky, through the window at the opposite (southern) side of the building. See more »
In the cold winter in the countryside of Sweden, the pastor Tomas Ericsson (Gunnar Björnstrand) is a bitter man living a crisis of lack of faith in God after the death of his beloved wife two years ago. After the mass, Karin Persson (Gunnel Lindblom) seeks out the pastor with her husband, the fisherman Jonas Persson (Max von Sydow), and tells that Jonas is tormented by an existential crisis when he learns that China has an atomic bomb and intends to commit suicide. Tomas unsuccessfully attempts to comfort Jonas but he is not convincing due to his lack of faith and Jonas kills himself with a shot of rifle in his head. Meanwhile, the schoolteacher Märta Lundberg (Ingrid Thulin) is in love with Tomas, but the widowed pastor rejects her love with bitter and tough words. In the end, Tomas discusses with the sacristan the true suffering of Jesus Christ in the Passion of Christ.
"Nattvardsgästerna" is the second part of Bergman's Trilogy of Silence with an unpleasant story of unrequited love, lack of communication and lack of faith on God. The pastor Tomas Ericsson is one of the bitterest characters that I have ever seen, and his speech to Märta Lundberg is one of the cruelest and coldest of a man to a woman in love. The performances are awesome as usual in a Bergman's film, with wonderful black-and-white cinematography, and this cold film does not have soundtrack. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "Luz de Inverno" ("Light of Winter")
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