Winter Light – Ingmar Bergman (1963)

Winter Light (SwedishNattvardsgästerna, literally “The Communicants”) is a 1962 Swedish drama film written and directed byIngmar Bergman and starring Bergman regulars Gunnar BjörnstrandIngrid Thulin and Max von Sydow. The film follows Tomas Ericsson (Björnstrand), pastor of a small rural Swedish church, as he deals with existential crisis and his Christianity.

Following Through a Glass DarklyWinter Light reunites Gunnar Björnstrand, this time playing a pastor suffering a crisis of faith while ministering to a shrinking congregation, and Max Von Sydow as a parishioner lost to acute anxiety over the possibility of a nuclear holocaust. Neither man can help or heal the other, or even inspire renewed confidence in practiced rituals and older, more certain views of the world. Set on a chilly, Sunday afternoon, Winter Light‘s heavy stillness, lack of music, preference for intense close-ups and distancing long shots, and barren setting all lead us inescapably into the core of a profound silence, an echo chamber in which love can’t grow and religion rings hollow. The trilogy concludes with The Silence.

 Bergman cited Winter Light as his favorite among his films. One of Ingmar’s most intimate and autobiographical films, it deals harshly with personal elements of the director’s life and worldview. Bergman claims that he only “realized who he really was” and came to terms with himself through the making of Winter LightVilgot Sjöman‘s film Ingmar Bergman Makes a Movie was made simultaneously with Winter Light and documents its production:

Feature Film:

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