A parable on good and evil set during the transitional era of Medieval Sweden, when paganism and Christianity coexisted. A father seeks savage retribution for the crime perpetrated against his child. An Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Language Film.
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Call it a masterpiece is doing an understatement. That one scene when Von Sydow is with his back turning to us it's just the most powerful scene in whole movie where Bergman tries to establish a reflexive distance between us and the character and its dilemma. The lack of emotion it's a way to not feel connected and be able to think without being conditioned by any cinematography trick such as the reverse shot.
The Virgin Spring remains one of Bergman's best and most accessible films because it avoids getting bogged down in a lot of his usual angsty pretensions. Instead the viewer is told a simple, haunting tale which plays out like a ballad. I cannot discredit the power of the images enough. The cinematography is nothing short of stunning, the lighting and the staging all perfect. Such an emotional and powerful film.
Seventh Seal, The Devil's Eye, and this are my favorite Bergman films. Of course it's hard to deny Wild Strawberries, Passion of Anna, Shame, Persona, etc. We could be here for days, to me, no Bergman film deserves less than four stars. The man is master.