The Seventh Seal

(Det sjunde inseglet)
Sweden 1957. Dir: Ingmar Bergman. 96 min. DCP

Bergman 100 Encore! Bergman’s very modern meditation on our search for meaning, presented in the guise of a medieval morality play, is one of cinema’s most famous (and parodied) works. Max von Sydow is Antonius Blok, a battle-weary knight who returns from the Crusades to find his native Sweden ravaged by plague and overtaken by religious zealotry. Observing the horrors around him, this once-pious man begins to doubt the existence of a God who would permit such suffering. When the white-faced, black-robed figure of Death comes to claim him also, Blok challenges the spectre to a fateful game of chess. The Seventh Seal has achieved iconic status in the popular imagination and contains some of film’s most unforgettable images. It was also a milestone in “intellectual” or “serious” cinema, and instrumental in creating the art-house vogue for Bergman’s remarkable work. “One of the most beautiful films ever” (Eric Rohmer).

 

REVIEWS

★★★★★ "Even after half a century, The Seventh Seal is an untarnished gold-standard of artistic and moral seriousness."

The Guardian | full review

"It remains not only highly impressive but thought-provoking, relevant, and intensely moving in our present, nervous, times."

Time Out | full review