The second part of the director’s Silence of God trilogy, which began with Through a Glass Darkly and concludes with The Silence, follows a rural priest with a dwindling congregation as he tackles both an existential and a spiritual crisis.
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Bergman is his characters. His crowds do not consist of people, but masses: they aren't individuals until they scream “I” and when they do they paint themselves as uncertain kings, with no followers other than themselves. Their loneliness reigns over small deserts, yet rarely finds closure. They endow some certainty, which they choose to safeguard in a pillbox. Yet all it takes for its walls to crumble back to sand ↓
This is not, however, a religious film. It's a lot more exploring the real human nature and its possible ''faults''. It raises some universal issues like: ''Am I doing good things because I am a good person (because I have a good character) or because I am afraid of the consequences (because I am weak, fearful)''?
In this beautiful drama class, Bergman shows us how to shoot up close monologues with perfection. With the choking presence of a suffering Jesus in every stage of this faithless drama, we are doomed to enter this personal crisis in the middle of an upcoming war: and we just watch, perplexed with how touching the end of things can be.
One of my favorite Bergman. Max von Sydow is tormented by the possibility of nuclear war. I can relate. Me too. Conventional war is also dreadful and really bothers me. But I don't waste my time naively asking a useless clergyman for guidance. I just watch a good film and try not to think about how horrible humanity is.
Perhaps Bergman's bleakest film, and his most in-depth look at the nature of God. It's a portrait of misery and silence, but damn if it isn't one of the icy Swede's most well-made and brilliantly acted works.
Simple and Stark. The dialogue is one of the many reasons to watch this. To see Björnstrand and Thulin go at it is an amazing sight to behold, especially when they are playing characters who just cannot love each other because they are flawed at a very basic level.