Response to “Seeking God in Early Bergman: The Cases of The Seventh Seal and Winter Light”

Phoebe Pua

Abstract


This article offers alternate readings of Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal (1957) and Winter Light (1963) to those proposed in a preceding article by Esma Kartal. It argues against the contention that the two films express optimism about one’s ability to resolve spiritual-existential angst and the possibility of ultimately reaffirming one’s faith. Through close analysis of pivotal scenes, including that of Death in the Castle in The Seventh Seal and the Frostnäs church service in Winter Light, the article exposes the unremitting pessimism that pervades the films’ atmospheres. In essence, the article asserts that the two films, Winter Light in particular, are among the most pessimistic in Bergman’s cinema.


Keywords


Ingmar Bergman, The Seventh Seal, Winter Light, religion, God, existentialism

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/cinej.2012.53

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