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Through a Glass Darkly

(Såsom i en spegel)
Sweden 1961. Dir: Ingmar Bergman. 91 min. DCP

Through a Glass Darkly (the first of Bergman’s films shot on Fårö) is the first entry in a “Faith” (or “Man and God”) trilogy that includes Winter Light and The Silence, and earned Bergman the Foreign-Language Oscar for the second year running (The Virgin Spring won for 1960). A four-handed chamber drama set to the music of Bach, the film features Harriet Andersson as a schizophrenic woman summering on an isolated island with her doctor husband (Max von Sydow), vulnerable brother (Lars Passgård), and writer father (Gunnar Björnstrand). None of these men can offer the emotional support she requires; when she discovers that her father is using her illness as the basis for a novel, she is devastated. A famous scene has God hallucinated as a spider. The theme of incest anticipates The Silence. “The other pictures I have made have been only études. This is Opus I” (Bergman, 1961).


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REVIEWS

"One of the best and certainly the ripest of Ingmar Bergman's creations."

Time Magazine | full review

"Visually exquisite, ingeniously knit."

Stanley Kauffmann | full review

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