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Jorgen Lindstrom plays Jonas, a small boy travelling with his mother Anna (Gunnel Lindblom) and aunt Ester (Ingrid Thulin). His aunt is dying of consumption, but his mother is a great deal more alive and smouldering with sexual energy. As the tension between the bedridden aunt and the frustrated mother mounts, Jonas roams the hotel corridors and chances almost surreally upon the hotels only other occupants--an elderly floor waiter and a troupe of performing dwarves. Meanwhile, his mother is picked up by a waiter in a cafe, is seduced by him in a church then engages in a traumatically miserable bout of hotel sex.
Sultry, full of incident and dreamlike cinematic spectacle (the performing dwarves, a rumbling tank, an overheated railway carriage) there's a sense of aimlessness and oblivion about The Silence, in which the godlessness of the universe, though never discussed, is implied throughout the movie. There is, however, a note of humanist hope struck in the conclusion, more convincing than the platitudinous finale of Through a Glass Darkly.
On the DVD: Bergman's notes explain how he had long nurtured the notion of setting a movie in an imaginary city where "the rules of society cease to exist", and how the young boy's curious wanderings were inspired by his first exposure to Stockholm as a child. Critic Philip Strick's notes reveal that Greta Garbo had at one point been mooted to make a return to the screen in this film and that in certain countries, censors insisted on separate screenings of The Silence for males and females. --David Stubbs
This, for me, is a strange and almost impenetrable film. I'm still unable to be sure what to make of it. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Dr. David Francis Seelig
last of bergmanns trilogy drama which is intense deep and delvs into the psyche of individuals in the film also given them their own languageto deal with. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
the uncomfortable subject in this case is incest between two grown sisters, where one of them is trying to get out of the psychological clutches of the other. Read morePublished 19 months ago by sarah waters fan north east
The Silence (Ingmar Bergman, 1963, 96')
First, eminent critic Bosley Crowther (excerpt): The grapplings of Ingmar Bergman with loneliness, lust, and loss of faith, so... Read more
A story that is so simple its power cannot be denied. But this is Bergman at his best. A tale of two sisters who's emotions become so intense and thwarted, you almost feel it... Read morePublished on 17 Sept. 2012 by Taki34
A film I definitely need to see again. My first reaction was the same
I've had to many of Bergman's films: deep admiration, but not personal
adoration. Read more
I am not going to comment on the actual film itself. Other reviewers have done a wonderful job of that and I do not have anything to add in that department. Read morePublished on 14 Nov. 2011 by Dan Fred