The final and most scandalous film of Ingmar Bergman’s Trilogy of Faith.
Translator Ester, her sister Anna, and her ten-year-old son Johan travel across Europe. Ester has cancer, and in order to wait out another deterioration they decide to stay in a fictional city called Timoka. The characters are opposites, with the intellectual, emotionally closed Esther painfully attached to Anna, a sensual and bright hedonist who rebels against her sister’s hyperattention, bordering on manic control, and embarks on a love affair. A posh hotel in this nonexistent city becomes a place where the sisters’ long-term, complicated relationship will finally be spoken out loud and the silence broken.
The tension between Ester and Anna is revealed through eloquent silence and rare, deliberately empty dialogues. The space around them is totally neutral, emphasizing their insane hostility. Symbolizing a typical attractive mid-twentieth-century European city, Timoka is full of life and entertainment, but also dangerous temptations. At night, a tank appears on its empty sterile streets—a ghost of the hatred and struggle between the sisters or a symbol of the military tragedies that have saturated almost every town in Europe.
In contrast to his earlier, more theatrical works, this is one of Bergman’s most cinematic films. As both a film and theater director, he boldly mixed these mediums. Together with two-time Academy Award-winning cinematographer Sven Nykvist he achieved the ultimate visual experience, marked by high image contrast and radical avant-garde camera angles.
The film will be screened in Swedish, English, Spanish, German, and French with Russian subtitles.
Dir. Ingmar Bergman
Sweden, 1963. 96 min. 18+