Bergman returns to the medieval Sweden of The Seventh Seal with this decidedly modern parable based on a 14th-century religious folk tale pitting Christian revenge against pagan magic. Töre (Max Von Sydow), a devoted father, leads a quiet, dignified family life. His love for his daughter Karin (Birgitta Pettersson) is affectionate but overbearing, and his insistence upon her going to church for prayer proves tragic. When Karin is brutally raped and murdered, her predators end up boarding with the ignorantly charitable Töre and his wife Märeta (Birgitta Valberg). Once again, Von Sydow masterfully embodies the tortured Everyman forced to face the darkest corners of the human soul and the most elemental of emotions. “The religious process of symbolization in Bergman’s medieval morality plays never completely obscures his characteristic agnostic questioning, because the director balances the visions against his modern psychological perception. Like Kurosawa’s Rashomon, which it strongly resembles, The Virgin Spring raises moral questions that elevate the film above the violent story.”—Tom Kemper. Academy Award, Best Foreign Language Film.