Boys -- Drama, Hotels -- Drama, Lesbians -- Drama, Single mothers -- Drama, Sisters -- Drama

The Silence


  • Portrait of Bart Testa

    Bart Testa is a senior lecturer at Innis College and the Cinema Studies Institute at the University of Toronto.


Ingrid Thulin, Gunnel Lindblom, Jörgen Lindström, Håkan Jahnberg,

Sisters Anna (Gunnel Lindblom) and Ester (Ingrid Thulin) are traveling with Anna’s son when they are forced by Ester’s poor health to hole up in a hotel in a strange country seemingly on the verge of war. Anna shuns the attentions of her desperately ill sister, while Ester is left to cope with the pain of her desire and her illness; it seems they are one. Meanwhile the boy explores the mysteries of the old hotel, playing out the fears inspired by the passions around him. The third film of Bergman’s “God trilogy” (with Through a Glass Darkly and Winter Light) was one of his most controversial. If it remains risky and experimental, it is not for its intimations of incest but for the postapocalyptic landscape of emotions it traverses: a truly desolate foreign land, where language is reduced to ciphers, and sex to a brittle ritual of humiliation; where God is no longer even an absence.

Judy Bloch
  • Ingmar Bergman
  • Sven Nykvist
  • Swedish
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • B&W
  • DCP
  • 96 mins
  • Janus Films

CineFiles is an online database of BAMPFA's extensive collection of documentation covering world cinema, past and present.

View The Silence documents  

The passion of Ingmar Bergman (program), Cinematheque Ontario/a division of Toronto International Film Festival Group, Bart Testa, 2005

Next to godliness (review), Village Voice, Elliott Stein, 2004

A research bibliography for Ingmar Bergman's film trilogy Through a Glass Darkly, Winter Light, and The Silence (bibliography), Sterling Hedgpeth, 1991

Ingmar Bergman's magic lantern: life as art in retrospect (program note), Hopkins Center of Dartmouth College, Ulrike Rainer, 1988

The silence (program note), Facets Multimedia, 1988

The silence (distributor materials), Janus Films, 1973

The silence (program note), 1971

Tystnaden (review), Monthly Film Bulletin, N.M.H., 1964

How Sweden's film god brings in the kronor (article), Business Week, 1964

Bergman's agonized look at sex (review), New York Herald Tribune, Judith Crist, 1964

Displaying 10 of 15 publicly available documents.

View all The Silence documentation on CineFiles.