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Såsom i en Spegel (Through A Glass Darkly)

Såsom i en Spegel (Through A Glass Darkly) (1961)

tomatometer

100

Average Rating: 8.2/10
Critic Reviews: 7
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 0

No consensus yet.

audience

92

liked it
Average Rating: 4.2/5
User Ratings: 7,812

My Rating

Movie Info

Ingmar Bergman won his second Best Foreign Film Oscar for the moody family drama Through a Glass Darkly. It is the first of what came to be called his "chamber dramas," which positioned four characters in one place where they could interact like a string quartet. It has also been referred to as the first of his trilogy of faith, followed by Winter Light and The Silence, dealing with issues of God and love. Shot in black-and-white and running only 90 minutes long, the film opens with a quote from

Unrated,

Art House & International, Drama

Jun 29, 1994

Criterion Collection

Watch It Now

Cast

Latest News on Såsom i en Spegel (Through A Glass Darkly)

July 30, 2007:
Legendary Director Ingmar Bergman dies at 89
Ingmar Bergman, the "poet with a camera," died in his sleep at his home in Faro, Sweden Monday at...

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All Critics (19) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (19) | Rotten (0) | DVD (4)

Through a Glass Darkly is one of the best and certainly the ripest of Ingmar Bergman's creations, a film as subtle as Wild Strawberries but solider in substance.

July 23, 2013 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

You can freeze almost any frame of this film and be looking at a striking still photograph.

July 23, 2013 Full Review Source: RogerEbert.com
RogerEbert.com
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Elaborately rhetorical at the end, this 1961 film nevertheless develops its theme lucidly and with some of Bergman's most unforgettable sequences.

July 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
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It is almost superfluous to note that the film is beautifully made: visually exquisite, ingeniously knit.

July 23, 2013 Full Review Source: The New Republic
The New Republic
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Not a pleasant film, it is a great one.

August 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
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Preserving a strict unity of time and place, this stark tale of a young woman's decline into insanity is set in a summer home on a holiday island.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Bergman's mastery with actors (there is absolutely never a bad performance in a single one of his films) and with the cinematic form (using space and mood to communicate his theme) is abundantly clear here.

August 16, 2010 Full Review Source: Cinema Writer
Cinema Writer

A film in search of profound truths that it can only hint at having caught glimmerings of, and it's a truly remarkable experience.

August 29, 2007 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Bergman's wintry film has beautiful moments and Andersson gives a great performance, but the film can't shake the weight of the disease-of-the-week movie feel.

August 11, 2007 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

The first of Ingmar Bergman's bleak but outstanding films from his trilogy of chamber plays about faith, alienation and the emptiness of life.

August 7, 2007 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

[Features] The usual fine performances from Bergman's regulars combined with a script that is not as ponderous as much of the director's other works.

August 29, 2006 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Deservedly winning the 1961 Foreign Language Oscar, this gloomy and intense family drama, set on a romate island, is the first in a trilogy that explores issues of religion, faith, and human fraiglity.

July 4, 2005 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

A truly thoughtful and moving film about human nature and (of course) man's struggle with a higher power.

August 17, 2003 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

Enjoyable, intelligently constructed and technically remarkable.

May 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

It's almost a wonder that it works at all.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: rec.arts.movies.reviews
rec.arts.movies.reviews

Audience Reviews for Såsom i en Spegel (Through A Glass Darkly)

this was a decent film. near the bottom of my list for bergman films, really the whole trilogy is not among my favorites of his work. the acting was great and bergman got some wonderful shots. this movie was very slow however, and you really sort of miss the point until the last 30 minutes or so. a very simple film taking place on a single set, this film was made to convey a very simple point about hope and faith. the final scene is really great, and the move towards a more theater feel in bergmans work is interesting, but overall not among his best.
August 18, 2014
sanjurosamurai
danny d

Super Reviewer

A gripping portrait of mental illness and family ties from a master director, and a film with a narrow focus and a cast of four (father, son, daughter, daughter's husband). Slow in the beginning but suddenly enrapturing, the stakes keep rising as we see the characters "mirror" each other's behaviour, frustrating each others' attempts at normal, intimate family relationships at every turn until we reach the harrowing conclusion. When I review, I prefer to get into specifics, but to me this is the kind of film that's probably better to go into blind, as it's full of surprises and subtle plot points that, while they won't look interesting in a summary - or an academic treatise, which one could easily write about this film - are captivating once you're into them. Watching it was an outstanding experience... I won't spoil it for you.
November 10, 2012
danperry17

Super Reviewer

I wonder if Ingmar Bergman purposefully kept the first third of Through A Glass Darkly dull and lifeless only to enhance the visuals and then performances of the second and third acts respectively. If he did then it certainly worked, I was pulled back in with a jolt just as I was beginning to loose interest. The performances are brilliant, particularly from Harriet Andersson, the writing is exquisite and after reading up on the chamber dramas as they've come to be known, I can't wait to see more. I would suggest this is only a suggestion of the greatness to come though, I liked it a lot but I don't love it. I seem to be in the minority in thinking that the b/w cinematography was below par considering how masterfully The Seventh Seal and Wild Strawberries were shot but I digress, this is cinematic brilliance.
July 5, 2011
SirPant

Super Reviewer

In a time so inundated with cinematic gimmickry, a filmmaker such as Ingmar Bergman would never succeed. Rather than fancy camera work, he relies on powerful framing and the story itself to move viewers.
The first film in his faith trilogy is starkly austere. Bergman's characters emerge from the water and enter a world of isolation. Not only isolated on an island that is surrounded by the silence and the serene, but emotionally isolated as well. Gunnar Bjornstrand plays the career obsessed patriarch whose forced and shallow attempts at reaching out to his family are obvious to all . Max Von Sydow is the husband who goes through all the right motions, but seems rather emotionless toward the wife he claims to love. Finally there is Karin, played wonderfully by Harriet Anderson. Karin is deemed mentally I'll, but her real suffering comes from the lack of God's presence. This yearning, this malady, she is conscious of, which makes God's silence all the more unbearable. What makes things worse is that those closest to her are unable and/or unwilling to understand her.
There aren't any major twists and turns, just an sincere look at the existence of a loving God.
In doing so, Bergman conjures not only powerful imagery, but also almighty observations about human existence.
We are so adroit at refining our lives and suppressing what we really feel, that we believe our lies to be truth. These aren't easy observations to swallow, but it is refreshing to know that a gifted storyteller like Bergman has tried.
It may be a bleak glimpse of humanity but I'll be damned if I ever find a film more honest than this.
July 4, 2011
axadntpron
Reid Volk

Super Reviewer

    1. David the Father: We draw a magic circle and shut out everything that doesn't agree with our secret games. Each time life breaks the circle, the games turn grey and ridiculous. Then we draw a new circle and build a new defense.
    2. Karin: Poor little daddy.
    3. David the Father: Yes, poor little daddy, forced to live in reality.
    – Submitted by Alexandar T (2 years ago)
    1. Karin: The door opened, but the god was a spider. He came up to me and I saw his face. It was a terrible stoney face. He scrambled up and tried to penetrate me, but I defended myself. All along I saw his eyes. They were cold and calm. When he couldn't penetrate me he continued up my chest, up into my face and onto the wall. I have seen God.
    – Submitted by Pete H (2 years ago)
    1. Karin: He that loves for real always does right by his loved one.
    – Submitted by Chad E (2 years ago)
    1. Fredrik David's son known as Minus: Oblivion shall own me and death alone shall love me.
    – Submitted by Chad E (2 years ago)
View all quotes (4)

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Foreign Titles

  • Wie in einem Spiegel (DE)
  • Through a Glass Darkly (Sasom i en spegel) (UK)
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