Marital conflict -- Sweden -- Drama, Musicians -- Sweden -- Drama

To Joy

(Till glädje)


Maj-Britt Nilsson, Stig Olin, Victor Sjöström, Birger Malmsten,

In To Joy Bergman dedicates his full attention to a theme that will recur in smaller filmic moments throughout his career: the idea of music’s redemptive power. In a frenetic performance, actor Stig Olin plays an ambitious concert violinist of mercurial temperament who ends up sacrificing nearly everything for his career. The fact that his orchestra conductor is in turn played by Victor Sjöström, the grand old master director of the Swedish silent cinema (and Bergman’s main cinematic mentor as well), only adds to the resonances of this film as a personal parable of Bergman’s own filmmaking. Beethoven’s music, the source for the title, is equated by film’s end with the momentary but intense joy of the Swedish summer, leading Bergman biographer Peter Cowie to cull from this film an artistic manifesto of sorts: “There are brief instances in life that are of such exquisite beauty that they compensate for all the misery and unhappiness.”

Mark Sandberg
  • Ingmar Bergman
  • Gunnar Fischer
  • Swedish
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • B&W
  • DCP
  • 98 mins
  • Janus Films

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View To Joy documents  

Vers la joie (program note), Cinémathèque Française, Éric Rohmer, 1981

The films of Ingmar Bergman (program note), New School for Social Research (New York, N.Y.), Jim Monaco, 1973

Illuminating Ingmar Bergman (program note), Pacific Film Archive

Displaying 3 of 3 publicly available documents.

View all To Joy documentation on CineFiles.