Ingmar Bergman’s The Silence – faith and fatalism


The Silence (Tystnaden) made in 1963 is the third film in Ingmar Bergman’s ‘Silence of God’ trilogy. The film discusses similar themes of: faith, certainty and reduction to the trilogy’s other films: Through a Glass Darkly, and Winter Light.

I covered Through a Glass Darkly, and Winter Light in separate blog posts.


The Silence tells the story of two sisters. Gunnel Lindblom plays healthy Anna who is resentful of Ingrid Thulin‘s Ester’s dependency. In turn, mortally sick, Ester is resentful of Anna’s independence.

Anna lurking in the shadows. Above, Anna’s resentment and frustration boiling over. We can believe Anna is resentful for a life she wished she could have lived if not for her sick sister’s dependency, frustrated she’s missed out on so much.


Silent screams. Ester’s resentment and frustration boiling over. Ester is resentful for her healthy sister flaunting her independence, frustrated she’s missing out on so much. These emotions are often expressed through the symptoms of Ester’s sickly condition.

lurking both

Anna and Ester lurking in the shadows, inward screams. Anna moves on from flouting her independence from Ester to revelling in flouting her independence from Ester. We believe Ester’s trauma is some sort of payback for Anna, we’re certain it’s gleefully received.

These siblings are rather different to Karin and Minus in Through a Glass Darkly.


A ray of sunshine lights Ester as she’s attended to by one of the film’s rare rays of sunshine, the kindly Waiter played by Håkan Jahnberg. The Waiter is apparently influenced by Jacques Tati’s Monsieur Hulot, a similarity accentuated by the film’s sparse vocalisations due to its setting in a country in a similar state of unease to Michelangelo Antonioni’s L’Eclisse. An ominous ending shared by two outstanding trilogies.

Reference: The Silence – Wikipedia

2 thoughts on “Ingmar Bergman’s The Silence – faith and fatalism

  1. Pingback: Ingmar Bergman’s Through a Glass Darkly – faith and family | RAMTOP

  2. Pingback: Ingmar Bergman’s Winter Light – faith and feeling | RAMTOP

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