Winter Light

Winter Light ★★★★½

I typically find that when I start exploring a renowned auteurs filmography I know within a film or two whether or not I'll enjoy their work. In the case of Ingmar Bergman he's now 7 for 7 and so far he can do no wrong.

"Winter Light" is yet another profound look at the internal conflict of faith in the face of nothingness. Religion is a one way street, you can talk and pray as much as you want but in return all you get is God's silence. This is the second installment in Bergman's loosely connected thematic theological trilogy; his "Trilogy of Faith".

The film focuses on a Swedish pastor, Thomas (Gunnar Björnstrand) struggling with existentialism in regards to his faith and that of God. Not only is he contending with his own deep seated nihilism, he's also struggling to help a severely depressed, suicidal fisherman who's wrought with anxiety. As-well, he has to contend with his dysfunctional relationship with a school teacher, Marta (Ingrid Thulin) with whom he had an affair with after his wife passed away.

With an 80 minute runtime, this film is over almost in a flash. A lot of that is down to the subject matter, which I found to be incredibly engrossing. Although, I'm not too sure how a casual viewer would feel about this. The film deals with one of the oldest questions in history, man's relationship with God.

There are no perfect answers and the film has a more pessimistic edge when compared to "Through a Glass Darkly". By the end the characters are left feeling unfilled by a question that can't be filled until the end comes. Instead, the film comes to terms with how we live through those moments of doubt when it feels like there's no point.

This is yet another great film from Bergman and I can't wait to explore more of his filmography throughout 2019. He's rapidly becoming one of my favourite filmmakers of all time.

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