Nattvardsgästerna (Winter Light)

1962

Nattvardsgästerna (Winter Light)

Critics Consensus

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75%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 16

92%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 6,520
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Movie Info

The Winter Light is the second in a trilogy of dramas by acclaimed Swedish director Ingmar Bergman that explores religious faith and doubts in a visceral, visual, and provocative manner. The first, Through a Glass Darkly, was an international success and heralded this new phase in the director's career. This compelling drama is set within a three-hour period on a Sunday afternoon in November, and begins when the local pastor, Tomas Ericsson (Gunnar Bjornstrand), is finishing his sermon. As of late, Pastor Ericsson has watched his congregation dwindle to a minimal level. Among the remaining parishioners is Marta (Ingrid Thulin) a plain-looking schoolteacher who has long been in love with the pastor. Meanwhile, fisherman Jonas (Max von Sydow) is anxiety-ridden over the nuclear power of the Communist Chinese, but Pastor Ericsson cannot help him, saddled with some overwhelming spiritual dilemmas of his own. As Ericsson struggles with his demons and faces Marta's unwanted (and to him, repugnant) romantic attentions, some hints of the qualities of God begin to surface. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi

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Cast

Gunnar Bjornstrand
as Tomas Ericsson
Ingrid Thulin
as Marta Lundberg
Max von Sydow
as Jonas Persson
Gunnel Lindblom
as Karin Persson
Allan Edwall
as Algot Frovik
Kolbjorn Knudsen
as Knut Aronsson
Olof Thunberg
as Fredrik Blom
Elsa Ebbesen-Thornblad
as Magdalena Ledfors
Elsa Ebbesen
as Magdalena Ledfors
Tor Borong
as Johann Akerblom
Helena Palmgren
as Doris Appelblad
Eddie Axberg
as Johan Strand
Ingmari Hjort
as Persson's Daughter
Lars-Owe Carlberg
as Police Inspector
Johan Olafs
as Gentleman
Ingmarie Hjort
as Persson's Daughter
Bertha Sånnell
as Hanna Appelblad
Stefan Larsson
as Persson's Son
Lars-Olof Andersson
as Frederiksson's Boy I
Christer Ohman
as Fredriksson's boy II
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Critic Reviews for Nattvardsgästerna (Winter Light)

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (5)

Audience Reviews for Nattvardsgästerna (Winter Light)

  • Oct 08, 2015
    Winter Light is a short but well-made and well-acted film, but difficult to characterize. It strangely exercises intellect more than emotion, as compared with Through a Glass Darkly or Persona or The Silence. Winter's Light is more detached, like watching someone paint a portrait of someone and another.
    Robert B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 12, 2012
    Loss of faith and the silence of god - subject matter that makes this movie, in a word, fascinating.
    Dillon L Super Reviewer
  • Nov 28, 2011
    The entire film takes place over a three hour period one afternoon in a cold and lonely swedish village. Tomas is the preacher at a church where attendance has dwindled so much it can be counted on one hand. But it's difficult to expect people to come hear someone preach when his own faith lacks conviction. Pastor Tomas has the "old schoolmarm" (played by Ingrid Thulin- who was 37 at the time) looking after him... well, actually the two are having an affair, albeit a rather passionless one. Even though she loves Tomas deeply, he refuses to return her love, as he's still mourning the loss of his wife. In one scene, Tomas tells a suicidal parishioner about his time spent on the battlefield during the war, where he witnessed brutality that contradicted everything God represented to him until his God became a compartmentalized, secret thing that only his wife could really help him to understand. It's his mistress who wants to fill that void in his life, but Tomas can only mire himself in what he calls "God's silence". With Winter Light, writer/director Ingmar Bergman tells a very basic, straightforward story that is wrought with painful and very real emotions. Like characters from many other Bergman films, pastor Tomas is so wrapped up in his own pain, so self-absorbed, he fails to have any empathy whatsoever to his fellow man. It's not so much his beliefs (or God) have failed him so much as he's failed his beliefs. There is much weakness in these characters, but also much strength. What does one do when they think they've uncovered some unalterable truth that everything they've believed in is a lie? How does a mind recover from unbearably naked revelations? Tomas tries so hard to maintain the lie he lives that the only logical result is the resentment of existence itself.
    Devon B Super Reviewer
  • Oct 02, 2011
    "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing." (John 15:5) Second part of the auteur's trilogy dealing with man's relationship with God. It is literally impossible to relate with this masterpiece's protagonist unless you are a son of God. "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name." (John 1:12) What is so absolutely accurate and brilliant about the movie is the fact that it states how agnostics, atheists, etc. lose their credibility in God based on the actions of humans, not even considering that humans are not perfect, but God is. If a pastor or so-called Christian has a weakness in faith or "indifference towards Jesus Christ", the God does not exist and their own, objective judgment is immediately blinded. Also: + The main mistake of the pastor was to compare the earthly conditions of his existence and the disaster surrounding his life with God; hence, he tried to create an image of God according to his own troubles. He put his eyes in the circumstances (the storm and the waves) instead of Christ (Matthew 14: 15-22). + In his egoism, he forgot the responsabilities of the pastor: to guide his flock to God and to a heart of Christ. The result? Zechariah 10:2; Matthew 9:36. + His actions, naturally, will have consequences in his life directly derived from God's discipline (Zachariah 34: 1-31). God is mentioned as a spider again; the sickness continues; the landscape still speaks mysteries... 99/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer

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