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.
"The Silence" is about the emotional distance between two sisters. The younger one is still attractive enough to pick up a lover in a strange city. The older one -- even though she is very ill -- would like to make a human connection also but cannot leave the hotel room. Traveling with the sisters is a small boy who escapes into the hotel, meets a troupe of dwarfs. Which sister is this little boy's mother?Written by
Dale O'Connor <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The entire film takes place over the course of approximately twenty four hours. See more »
[points to a sign]
What does that mean?
I don't know.
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The original UK cinema release featured the pre-edited US print which was then cut by a further 35 secs by the BBFC to shorten some shots of Ester stroking Anna's hair and to replace subtitled references to erections and semen. The 1999 Tartan video is the complete version. See more »
The title of a dark and erotic final chapter of "faith" trilogy may sum up Bergman's own philosophy regarding religion and God "God has never spoken because He does not exist". Bergman mentioned that he wanted to make a film with as little dialog as possible because "he had made many films with a lot of talking". He wanted "The Silence" to be a pure cinematographic experience where the images do all the talking. The films centers on two sisters, Ester (Ingrid Thulin) and Anna, (Gunnel Lindblom) to whom Ester is physically attracted. Esther, Anna and her 10-year-old son travel together and had to stop in a hotel located in an unnamed European country due to Esther's serious illness.
The film may be viewed on several levels -as the story of two sisters who apparently used to be close but are not able to communicate and understand one another anymore. Or it can be interpreted as a parable of Sensuality, Intellect, and Innocence, that cannot coexist in the world where God does not exist. As with every great and intelligent work of art, "The Silence" has so much to offer to its viewer, it's got so many questions to ask and it does not provide the easy answers.
Complex, suffocating, screaming through the silence, poignant, passionate, harrowing yet strangely hopeful and even funny sometimes - this is an unforgettable film, a masterpiece, a hidden treasure that has to be rediscovered and to receive as much praise and admiration as "Persona" and "Cries and Whispers" - for both of which "The Silence" was an inspiration. The acting by two Bergman's actresses is a miracle (as usual) as well as Sven Nykvist's camera work in creating the claustrophobic world where silence cries, whispers, and kills...
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