Sunday, November 7, 2010

Winter Light - Ingmar Bergman

Watched Ingmar Bergman's 'Winter Light' a couple of days ago. It is the story of a  widowed pastor who is beseiged by doubts about his own faith in God, provoked further by a neurotic fisherman, who fears the threat of Chinese disrupting world peace. The pastor wonders if there is god at all or if he is, how come the pastor has no idea about how to answer such questions. The fisherman who is already suicidal, actually goes and kills him after listening to the pastor's outburst on god. To compound his sense of failure and his inadequacy at answering such questions as the existence of god confidently and with conviction, the pastor is also hounded by a woman, a school teacher, who has made him her project, her mission to serve him in any way she can.

As the pastor is confused about his own role in the scheme of things, a discussion with one of his assistants in the church, who expresses his own theory about Christ's suffering, makes sense to the pastor in some way. He realises that it is not his duty to understand and control everything and goes about with his next service - to an almost entirely empty church.

Winter Light is part of Bergman's trilogy on god and faith called the 'Faith' series. It has long dialogues and a letter read entirely by its author, the lady school teacher who is in love with the pastor, explaining her situation and their background. It is slow and ended rather abruptly for me. One thing I realised is that Bergman's movies deal with the issue directly and he seems to resolve them through a dialogue or discussion with a seemingly insignificant character towards the end.

As for this movie, I guess I'll need to watch it again to understand it better.  

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