Bergman: The Silence (Tystnaden).1963

Miami Beach Cinematheque. September 21st, 2007. 8:30 p.m.

Miami Beach CinemathequeThe Silence (Tystnaden), featuring Ingrid Thulin, Gunnel Lindblom and Jörgen Lindström, is the last film in Bergman’s Faith Trilogy, comprised also of Through A Glass Darkly and Winter Light. The Silence focuses on the inability to communicate with both human or heavenly presences, and desires of the physical rather than spiritual. In his lifetime wrestle with religion and human emotion, Bergman was at the pinnacle of his very personal experimental voyage in the 1960’s, creating one of the most searing, controversial, and mysterious portraits of his career. In The Silence, two sisters, Ester the older, Anna the younger, and Anna's son are traveling on a train into a foreign city whose language they do not understand. Ester is not well. They stay in an arid hotel. Ester is trying to hold on, almost sexually, to her sister. Her sister, however, goes out. In the theatre she sees a couple making love in a nearby box. She picks up a man herself and returns to the hotel.

The little boy wanders through the empty halls of the hotel. There is a company of dwarfs, and they take him to their room and dress him as a woman. He plays with the kind old porter who becomes lost in his own memories. He hears Ester confront Anna with the man in her room.

Tanks roll through the city streets. Ester is dying. Several times she thinks she has died. She thinks her sister has left. But her sister comes back for a last dialogue in which Ester tells her why she hates heterosexual relations. She gives Anna's son a paper on which are written some translations of the strange language. They leave. Ester will die now.

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