The Silence (1963)

TSPDT Greatest Films #452 The Silence (Ingmar Bergman, 1963)

Bergman's films always had simple stories presenting complex and intense emotions. The Silence is no exception here. Two sisters, Ester (Ingrid Thulin) and Anna (Gunnel Lindblom) travel with Anna's son. Ester is terribly ill and must pass most of her time in bed. She is an intellectual and writes a lot. Anna is still young and pretty and she easily makes contact with other human beings, getting a lover as soon as she arrives in the city. On the other side Ester would like to meet someone but she can't even leave her room. Meanwhile, Johan (Anna's son) discovers life in the corridors of the hotel meeting a troop of midgets for example.
The story, as stated before, may seem very simple but the emotions between the two sisters is so intense that sometimes we feel that this relationship always crosses the line of love and hate.

Sven Nykvist cinematography is once again impeccable with lots of crude lights and perfect camera positionning in every scene. The actress are, like every Bergman picture, tight and they inhabit their characters.

The Silence is simply another masterpiece in Ingmar Bergman long list of landmarks.


  1. This is another of my favorites, a marvelous and really evocative film. In addition to the emotional and psychological story of the two sisters, the film deals on a symbolic level with the difficulty of communication in both personal and global terms, as the sisters wander through a war-torn land where they can't understand the language.

  2. I agree with you here. This is probably Bergman's most interesting period and one of his most beautiful film.


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