Faith -- Drama, God -- Drama, Priests -- Sweden -- Drama

Winter Light


Digital Restoration

  • Lecture

    A professor in the Department of Scandinavian at UC Berkeley, Linda H. Rugg has written extensively on Ingmar Bergman.


Ingrid Thulin, Gunnar Björnstrand, Max von Sydow, Gunnel Lindblom,

Winter Light is the central film in Bergman’s so-called “God trilogy” (with Through a Glass Darkly and The Silence). Gunnar Björnstrand plays the doubting Tomas, pastor of a dwindling rural parish. Tomas is an isolated individual, haunted by “God’s silence” and indifferent to the physical, whether in the person of the schoolmistress Märta (Ingrid Thulin) or Christ himself. When a local fisherman (Max von Sydow) comes to him stupefied by fear of the atom bomb, Tomas cannot meet his gaze. The film’s spare style, which prefigures the modernist Persona, is one of gazes and avoidances, and the visual articulation of contradiction: bathed in bright winter light, Tomas becomes free from God. The trilogy, as Bergman has stated, “is not concerned with God or His absence . . . but with the saving force of love.” But to take the lead, and not wait for God to show love, is the most difficult task for a Bergman persona.

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

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

View Winter light documents  

Winter light: A tribute to Ingmar Bergman (program note), Harvard Film Archive, 2008

Winter light (program note), Cinematheque Ontario/a division of Toronto International Film Festival Group, 2005

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

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

Winter light (program note), Facets Multimedia, 1983

Winter light (distributor materials), Janus Films, 1973

Winter light (program note), Beloit College, Ingmar Bergman, 1965

The isolated hero of Ingmar Bergman (article), Film Comment, Birgitta Steene, 1965

Ingmar Bergman, the listener (article), Saturday Review, Oscar Hedlund, 1964

Displaying 10 of 19 publicly available documents.

View all Winter light documentation on CineFiles.