Through a Glass Darkly
(Såsom i en spegel)
Harriet Andersson, Max von Sydow, Gunnar Björnstrand, Lars Passgård,
Through a Glass Darkly is the first in a trilogy that also includes Winter Light and The Silence. The search for God, which is complicated by and confused with lust and madness, is the central theme of this trilogy. Karin (Harriet Andersson), daughter, wife, and recently released mental patient, convalesces at her family’s seaside summer cabin, where the men in her life have hardly a clue what emotional sustenance the confused and delusional woman might require. Her father (Gunnar Björnstrand) and husband (Max von Sydow), both cold, self-absorbed intellectuals, distance themselves from the recovery process while Karin increasingly fixates on her vulnerable and sexually susceptible younger brother. That Karin is to be consumed in the search for God is the film’s ever-controversial premise, made all the more provocative by the implied eternal detachment of Bergman’s (significantly male) God.