• Film ID:
  • 6443
  • Availability:
  • DVD Available from Shop
  • Film cert:
  • Running time:
  • DVD=86 min.
  • Nationality(ies):
  • Sweden.
  • Primary Language(s):
  • Swedish.
An atmospheric medieval allegory for which Bergman won his first Oscar and International Critics Prize at Cannes. On her way to church, a 15-year-old peasant girl is raped and murdered by two goatherds. Later, in a bizarre twist of fate, the culprits ask for food and shelter at the house of the dead girl's parents. Discovering the truth, when the goatherds offer to sell them their dead daughter's bloodstained clothes, the parents exact a brutal revenge. The formal simplicity and overt symbolism, light and dark, fire and water, undercut the potentially sensationalist elements of the material. Sven Nykvist's luminous black-and-white photography conspires with the austerity of Bergman's imagery to create an extraordinary metaphysical charge. Stark, symbolic, luminous and haunting.
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