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Through a Glass Darkly (1961)

Såsom i en spegel (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 16 October 1961 (Sweden)
Recently released from a mental hospital; Karin rejoins her emotionally disconnected family and their island home, only to slip from reality as she begins to believe she is being visited by God.

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Storyline

A young woman, Karin, has recently returned to the family island after spending some time in a mental hospital. On the island with her is her lonely brother and kind, but increasingly desperate husband ('Max von Sydow'). They are joined by Karin's father ('Gunnar Björnstrand'), who is a world-traveling author that is estranged to his children. The film depicts how Karin's grip on reality slowly slips away and how the bonds between the family members are changing in light of this fact. Written by Mio

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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Winner Swedish Academy Award 1962 See more »

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Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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16 October 1961 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Through a Glass Darkly  »

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1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title is derived from a passage by Paul in The First Epistle to the Corinthians. See more »

Goofs

When Martin and David are taking up nets in the boat, Martin puts his pipe in his mouth and then takes the oars and starts to row. In the next shot, the pipe is gone. See more »

Quotes

Martin: You're empty but capable. And now you're trying to fill your void with Karin's extinction. But how will God fit into that? It must make him more inscrutable than ever!
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Connections

Referenced in Wild Reeds (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Sarabande from Suite No. 2 in D minor for Violoncello
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach
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User Reviews

 
One Of Bergman's Finest Works
9 July 2000 | by (Salem, Oregon) – See all my reviews

A character study set on a secluded island off the coast of Sweden, `Through A Glass, Darkly' is Ingmar Bergman's pensive chronicle of a young woman's descent into the maelstrom of schizophrenia. The story centers on Karin (Harriet Andersson), who has reached a pivotal juncture in her life; having just been released from a mental hospital, she must now face the uncertainties inherent in the nature of her illness. It is a crucial period in her life; she occupies a middle ground between two worlds, and the question now is, will she ultimately emerge in the light, or succumb to the darkness of the voices that beckon her from within. Through Bergman's eyes we observe the effects of her situation on the three people closest to her, her husband, Martin (Max von Sydow), her father, David (Gunnar Bjornstrand) and her brother, Minus (Lars Passgard). The movie explores their relationships to Karin (and to one another), and how differently each one them strives to cope with and understand her elusive affliction. An absorbing, evocative and sometimes tense drama, the film is impeccably delivered by Bergman, and the performances are all exemplary, especially Harriet Andersson, who brings the tortured soul of Karin to life with nuance and a depth and grasp of the character that is remarkable. Von Sydow is also perfect as the troubled Martin, and aptly conveys the quandary of his situation, which he approaches with a reserved, committed gentleness. Bjornstrand maintains a stoic presence throughout as the novelist/father attempting to resolve an inner conflict borne of guilt and doubtful motives, and Passgard gives a notable performance, as well; his angst and confusion are deeply felt and well played. The first of Bergman's 'Faith' trilogy (followed by `Winter Light' and `The Silence'), `Through A Glass, Darkly' is one of his finest works, an intricate exploration of the fragility of the human psyche and the complexities of life. An Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film of 1961, it firmly establishes Bergman as one of Cinema's greatest directors. It is an emotional and engrossing film that should not be missed. I rate this one 10/10.


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