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The Silence (Criterion Collection)
The Silence
Criterion Collection
Director: Ingmar Bergman
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
UR     1hr 35min

Screen Formats:B&W — Sound:Dolby Digital Mono — Aspect Ratio:1.33:1 — Features: — New high-definition digital transfer of the original, uncensored Swedish version, with restored image and sound — Exploring the Film: video discu...  more »


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Movie Details

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Creators: Ingrid Thulin, Gunnel Lindblom, Jorgen Lindstrom, Hakan Jahnberg, Birger Malmstem
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Family Life
Studio: Svensk Filmindusti / The Criterion Collection
Format: DVD - Black and White - Dubbed,Subtitled
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1963
Run Time: 1hr 35min
Screens: Black and White
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 20
Edition: Criterion Collection
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Baptism in Silence
Matthew Hundley | Saint Louis, MO USA | 05/17/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Originally titled God's Silence. This is a film of loneliness and despair. It is a film where there is great pain in existence. Three primary characters: Anna, Ester and Johan (Ester's son). The film opens on a train. This snapshot is telling - Anna coughing up blood and emotional, Ester comforting her son yet shooing him away minutes later, Johan the acute observer noting happenings in each cabin, noting the tanks careening by. They get stuck in a village where a language is spoken that they do not understand. They get stuck in a very old hotel where it appears that other than a troop of little people, they are the only one's in the place. Three auxillary players come into play - the maintenance man, the bartender and the hotel waiter. Most of the film is silent - except for some ambient music in the bar; and a very critical scene where Bach's Brandenburg Concerto is featured on the radio. While this is a piece representing Bach's highest achievement - the people we are exposed to in The Silence are all at their lowest. Seeking comfort in base desires. For Ester it is within that she seeks comfort from loneliness, sickness and despair. She turns to cigarettes, liquor, her intellect and her work translating great literature, and she brings pleasure to herself sexually. Anna, on the other hand, seeks to ease the pain of loneliness through others. Through the attentions and affections of her son; and when that doesn't work through the company of a stranger - in this case a bartender. Her efforts fail to ease her pain as well. Ultimately there is no relief. It is worth noting here Francis Schaeffer's comments on this film in "The God Who Is There." He points out that: this film is a statement of utter nihilism. Man, in this picture, does not even have the hope of authenticating himself by an act of the will. The Silence is a series of snapshots with immoral and pornographic themes. The camera just takes them without comment...That is all there is. Life is like that: unrelated, having no meaning as well as no morals." Is there any hope in this film. I'd like to say that the waiter has some redeeming qualities to him. But he too is but a charicature of who he once was. The film ends back on the train with just Ester and Johan as they travel there is a storm raging outside. Ester opens the window to feel the rain on her face. Maybe the rain is God. Cleansing. Baptising. What she needs. The answer to her despair."
wdanthemanw | Geneva, Switzerland | 06/11/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"***** 1963. Written and directed by Ingmar Bergman. Three Swedish Academy awards (Best Film, Best Director and Best Actress). Two sisters argue in an hotel room while Johan, a 10 years old kid, is discovering the corridors and the strange guests of the hotel. The train compartment, the hotel room and the town, three claustrophobic places that Ester and Anna can't leave while Johan seems to be the only one able to open doors and communicate. THE SILENCE is a huge film which, like some books, can be enjoyed again and again. In my opinion, one of the most beautiful films ever made and one of my most intense experiences in a theatre, ever. Masterpiece.