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Winter Light

(Nattvardsgästerna)
Sweden 1963. Dir: Ingmar Bergman. 80 min. DCP

The silence of God resounds with a deafening, despairing clarity in Bergman’s masterfully austere Winter Light, one of the director’s most anguished explorations of spiritual emptiness. The middle work in the “Faith” trilogy that includes Through a Glass Darkly and The Silence, the film has Gunnar Björnstrand as a village pastor suffering a severe crisis of faith. Max von Sydow plays a parishioner with a debilitating fear of nuclear warfare who comes seeking spiritual comfort. Bergman’s superb cast also includes Ingrid Thulin and Gunnel Lindblom. The revealing close-ups and cold vistas of Sven Nykvist’s cinematography contribute greatly to the film’s bleak power and sense of spiritual and psychological suffering. “It is satisfying to see Winter Light after a quarter of a century. I believe that nothing in it has eroded or broken down” (Bergman, 1990).


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REVIEWS

"A thoughtful, engrossing, shocking film."

New York Times | full review

★★★★ "[I] was awestruck by its bleak, courageous power."

Roger Ebert | full review

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