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Winter Light

The second in his “Faith Trilogy,” Winter Light chronicles a day in the life of a disillusioned village pastor (Gunnar Björnstrand) as he attempts to reconcile his beliefs in the face of “God’s silence.” Unable to comfort his mistress (Ingrid Thulin), or to console a suicidal parishioner (Max Von Sydow), his shaken faith leaves only meaningless ritual, profound emptiness, and crippling self-paralysis. Björnstrand and Von Sydow provide dueling psychological poles, while Thulin’s Marta is one of the most emotionally delicate characters in all of Bergman’s work. Bergman and cinematographer Sven Nykvist capture the coldness of devotion and a winter light that becomes a character of its own. The Trilogy, Bergman stated, “is not concerned with God or His absence…but with the saving force of love.” In Swedish with English subtitles.

Genres: Drama

Other Films by Ingmar Bergman

Summer with Monika

Originally regarded as an erotic exploitation film, Monika enjoyed reappraisal as Bergman gained international recognition. Here he first articulates his recognizable psychological affinity with the ocean shore in a story of naïve desire and doomed romance. Shy, bourgeois Harry (Lars Ekborg) and the sultry, restless Monika (Harriet Andersson), escape their dreary lives in Stockholm and

The Virgin Spring

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

Smiles of A Summer Night

The inspiration for Woody Allen’s A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy and Steven Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, Bergman’s Smiles is an erotic, nostalgic jab at upper-class sexual repression and marital dysfunction. At a turn-of-the-century country estate, eight men and women—invited for a summer weekend—embark on frenzied rounds of sexual intrigue and deception as they variously

Autumn Sonata

Bergman’s only collaboration with Swedish film legend Ingrid Bergman, Autumn Sonata serves as a complimentary, yet more melancholy parallel to Wild Strawberries. Charlotte (Bergman), a professional musician, examines her life from the contemplative perch of old age. After having watched a lover die, she is reunited with her neglected and estranged daughter. Eva (Liv Ullmann)

Shame

Musicians Jan (Max Von Sydow) and Eva (Liv Ullmann), take refuge in a remote farmhouse hoping to escape the coming horrors of a civil war. There they face Bergman’s classic themes of personal isolation and fatalism, set in the context of political violence. Shame finds the director trying to make sense of postwar Europe in