1963 / 81m - Sweden
Winter Light poster


February 07, 2023


Ah, that Ingmar Bergman. Sometimes I bump into one of his shorter films, and I mistakingly assume they might be less of a hassle to sit through. Well, at least the man still manages to surprise me, more than 10 films into his oeuvre. Winter Light was a challenge, even at just 80 minutes long.

Tomas is a small-town priest, who preaches to a small congregation. One cold winter day, he struggles immensely with his faith. He has lost his belief in God and he fails to find a new direction. He talks with a fisherman and a local teacher about his problems, but even though they want to help Tomas, he remains cold to their caring gestures.

If I'm honest, I've had it with the "classic masters" and their struggles with faith. Especially when their characters feel like empty shells draped around this very theme. Tomas isn't so much a person as he is an abstract meant as an excuse to talk about faith. There are some decent shots, but they are wasted on tiring dialogue and uninviting drama. Pretty horrible.