THE SILENCE

Ingmar Bergman’s challenging but brilliant exploration of lacking theology, familial resentment and (implied) unrequited incestuous attraction. Two quiet but spiteful women – one dying of a lung affliction (Ingrid Thullin), the other (Gunnel Lindblom) searching for one-night stands – and the latter’s young son (Jorgen Lindstrom) are travelling by train and arrive at a hotel where a not-so-distant war permeates the air. The final third of what has come to be called his “Silence of God” trilogy, following “Through a Glass Darkly” (1961) and “Winter Light” (1962). Engimatic and open to multiple interpretations. Sven Nykvist’s black-and-white cinematography is, as usual, great to look at, with hidden meanings in careful shot composition, precise lighting tricks, impeccable framing. Bergman remains one of the most challenging and thought-provoking filmmakers, a master of the cerebral and the emotional.

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