Ingmar Bergman's The Virgin Spring, is based on the disturbing 13th century Swedish ballad, Töres döttrar i Wänge, that deals with the conflicts between paganism, christianity and the belief in what is right or wrong. It tells the tale of a wealthy father and mother, whose daughter is violently raped and killed by goat herders, unknowingly in front of her Oden worshiping half sister. After deserting their victims body, they seek shelter and food from aristocrats. However, this was the dead girls family, whom upon discovering the peasants secret, take their revenge.
The Virgin Spring is often thought to be a companion piece for The Seventh Seal and there is similarities between them, however they are also very different as well. Although The Seventh Seal is very sinister, The Virgin Spring is far more dark due to it's realistic story. There are no supernatural themes as there are in The Seventh Seal, making this film in a way, more believable.
Max Von Sydow and Birgitta Valberg are wonderful as the parents, conveying their characters emotions brilliantly. Sven Nykvist's cinematography is exceptional, beautifully shot in stunning black and white and the screenplay is excellent, with Bergman's poetic style.
An unsettling examination on morals, good and evil, this is one of the great masterpieces of Ingmar Bergman and an outstanding contribution to cinema.
Special Features: Star and Director Filmographies, The Bergman Collection Trailer, Stills Gallery and Phillip Strick Film Notes.
Video Aspect Ratio: Original Academy Ratio
Feature Length: 86 mins