"- It's just that you always harp on your principles and drone on about how important everything is. But it's nothing more that hot air. [...] Everything centers around your ego. You can't live without feeling superior. Everything must be desperately important and meaningful and goodness knows what. - How else are we to live?"
What depths of his unconscious Bergman extracted this film from, it's impossible to know. It shows a filmmaker of unmatched self-confidence: Doing away with narrative, doing away with a recognisable setting, even doing away with language. The only lamp guiding Bergman's creation here is his deepest feelings about love, cruelty and the impossibility of communication.
All the scenes with the child looking at the military vehicles through the windows are great. How they evolve to looking like toys, to death-threatening tanks. The rest is to deeply ingrained narratively into the idea of the women (mothers) tendencies to betray the son in order to satisfy their appetites.
★★★★★ /DCP/ Bergman’s haunting masterpiece is a devastatingly brutal examination of the rancid wounds between two sisters or two lovers, depending on how you want to interpret it, that is saturated with resentment, sexual rage and emotional violence. Thulin is extraordinary, a performance of seething self-hate. Lindstrom captures the scarred young boy, a victim to an emotional war. Nykvist again, brilliant.
Man kann das Schweigen auch aus der Perspektive des Jungen erleben - dann ist die Perspektive traumatisch. Die beiden kurzen Sexszenen wurden vom Publikum der 60er zu Unrecht skandalisiert, der emotionale Zustand der Frauen hätte der wahre Skandal sein müssen. Überall herrscht Krieg: draußen und im Inneren - die einzige Stabilität vermittelt der alte Hotelangestellte in tiefer Menschlichkeit und Demut.
Pure Bergman, but at the same time one of his most impenetrable films. There is a profound malaise that divides the two sisters and that is never fully examined. Their contrast is brutal, with the background of an almost dreamlike setting. The screenplay is less relevant than other Bergman films and dialogues are less numerous. All this makes "The silence" a dark work, the narration of a hopeless relationship.
Bergman drives a knife into the pit of your stomach and twists it three times. This is truely cinema of cruelty. Two sisters with a chaotic past drag a son to somewhere in French Algeria- one suffers from tuberculosis and is starved of affection. The other lives for a thrill and selfishly neglects her sister to punish her from past torment. A harrowing film.
35mm. As typical 60s arthouse as it gets. Alienation, lack of communication, all the good stuff. Bergman is perhaps not as fashionable as Antonioni, another of the 60s giants, now, but 100 years after his birth I'm rediscovering him. My feeling is that the unnamed country is closest to Hungary. Often refered to as a pre-study to the great, devastating Persona.
A beautiful film about the complex relationships that can exist in families. While sometimes the sisters are very loving towards each other, other times they are particularly brutal. The most brutal line in the film was "remember at father's funeral how you said you couldn't bear to go on? Then why are you still here?" Damn. Bergman directs this weighty drama masterfully and its one of his best from the decade.