Bergman and the lead character have portrayed (quite accurately) the horror of living in two worlds, yet finding none a place to call home. Mental illness and the search for something real are poignantly done with this work. Perhaps you inevitably have to go through one in order to catch a glimpse of the other. Superb photography all set on a quiet, secluded property by the sea. This is as close to cinematic perfection as you can possibly get. Bach's music is the only embellishment, and it's a fine one, the strings pulsating through certain key scenes. Difficult to watch as it's about something that even now is hidden and spoken of in hushed tones, but really, illnesses of any kind shouldn't be judged and discriminated over, still it goes on. I guess with mental illness it can strip you of your character, your essence, and that's why, I guess, it's so hard. The genius of Bergman abd his cast.
If a modern remake of this was done, there would probably be graphic images of the hallucinations, music to set the tone, slick camera work in order to ram the subject matter down the throats of a modern movie going audience who need to be spoon fed. None of this is needed in this powerful portrayal of the descent into mental illness and its effect on the person involved and the people around them. We didn't see one hallucination, but we knew she was having them and it was chilling to watch, and just occasionally, one of Bach's solo cello works played in the background. What a perfect fit to the movie. "I have seen God, and he was a spider".
Part 1 in Bergman's "Faith Trilogy". This film could have easily been a stage play such is the simplicity of the whole thing. I had never seen such a beautiful exporation of faith, mental illness and the face of God. Such a powerful final 10 minutes as well.
Very clever journey into one woman's experience of mental illness. Stunningly shot in b&w and with the barest of locations. One of Bergman's best.