Through a Glass Darkly (Bergman, 1961)

Through a Glass Darkly (Ingmar Bergman, 1961)

This is one of the most complicated films I’ve ever seen. As with many of Bergman’s movies, there is faith and spirituality all through this movie, but it’s a heck of a lot less obvious here. The film is set on a small, remote (beautiful) island and features only four characters. As the film progresses we learn of these characters’ inner demons and struggles. Most obviously, the character of Karin suffers from schizophrenia, and is told by her hallucinations that she will meet God. The character of David is self-centered, and a poor father. Martin is prideful, and Minus struggles with lust. All four are real people with real problems.

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Karin’s schizophrenia is the center of the story, which actually makes is slightly difficult to identify the other characters’ struggles, but I believe they are just as important. The film is about family, recognizing flaws exist, but surrounding each other with love (and by doing that, God as well) despite these flaws. Through a Glass Darkly is one of Bergman’s most beautifully shot, intimate films. It is most definitely a difficult film to watch, but can be rewarding.  9.25/10

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