Let me say that this trailer does not do the movie justice. It highly sensationalizes the amount of sexuality in the film, and it implies that one of the sisters is a lesbian, but I did not see that, well not much anyway. You could interpret her as a lesbian, but you could also interpret her actions as that of a loving but jealous sister.

The Silence (1963), directed by Ingmar Bergman

This is another great film by Ingmar Bergman. It is an unusual film in that, unlike a lot of the play-based films I’ve watched lately, it is not heavy on dialogue. Kind of like the title implies, there is a lot of silence in this movie.

In a nutshell, the movie is about a 48 hour period in the lives of two sisters who are traveling together. But on a deeper level it is about sibling rivalry, resentment, and jealousy.

It’s hard to say why it works so well, because in many ways it is nothing but a series of mundane events: people traveling, people sleeping, people taking a bath, eating a meal, getting drunk. And yet, the movie draws you in because you keep expecting something significant to happen. It is as if each mundane event is heavily laden with meaning for the sisters.

Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia.
After a nightly train journey through desolate countryside, two emotionally estranged sisters stop at a once-grandiose hotel in an unidentified Central European country on the brink of war or insurrection, in the middle of a heatwave. The older, more cultured sister, Ester (Ingrid Thulin), who is a literary translator, is taken seriously ill, which seems to be terminal. Her fear of death, as well as long-standing rivalry and need for control, cloud her relationship with her younger sister Anna (Gunnel Lindblom). The sisters are depicted as a spirit/flesh dichotomy, with Ester representing the heart and mind, and Anna representing the body and soul.

Upon arriving to the hotel, Anna's son, Johan (Jörgen Lindström), a boy of 8 or so, wanders around the seemingly empty hallways, encountering a friendly old man and a group of Spanish midgets who are part of a travelling circus. Meanwhile, Ester wastes away in her room, attempting to work on her translations, and Anna ventures into the city, eventually having a one-night-stand with a stranger, which infuriates Ester.

By the end of the film, Anna and Johan leave the hotel, and Johan reads a note given to him by Ester while boarding the train. The note reads: "To Johan- words in a foreign language". Anna, seemingly unaffected by it, opens the window and cools herself with the outside rain. It is implied that Ester dies at the hotel, alone.

The theme of 'silence' is repeated throughout the film: God has been silent to Anna over her life, and is now silent in Ester as she dies; in addition, none of the characters speak the language of the country, causing disorientation and confusion; and the two sisters constantly misinterpret the others' words, making communication difficult or impossible.

Here’s a clip.


Tags: Ingmar Bergman, cinema, family, film, movie, sisters

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Can't forget the dwarfs. THey are an integral part, a tribute to Fellini.


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