The Silence (1963)

INGMAR BERGMAN

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB

Original title:  Tystnaden

Sweden, 1963.  Svensk Filmindustri.  Screenplay by Ingmar Bergman.  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by , .  Film Editing by .

Ingmar Bergman closes his ‘faith’ trilogy with a highly erotic, absorbing and expertly directed (if hopelessly pretentious) foray into Antonioni territory. Gone are the long, probing conversations about morality and mortality, and in their place are extensive scenes of mute characters inhabiting their spaces and trying to survive by their instincts. Two sisters and a child travelling through Europe on their way back home to Sweden stop in an unknown town (that speaks an unknown language) because the more intellectual sibling () is too ill to continue. The other more sensual sister () strolls the streets of the city looking for carnal companionship and finds it with an inarticulate cafe waiter. Featuring scenes of graphic sexuality that were hotly debated at the time of its release, this film might not work for all viewers but its director’s willingness to take a chance with his artistic style absolutely must be admired.

The Criterion Collection:  #211

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