Through a Glass Darkly (Såsom i en spegel) made in 1961 is the first 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: Winter Light, and The Silence.
The film tells its story via the relational intersections of: father, son, daughter and husband. Above we see Harriet Andersson and Lars Passgård‘s sibling characters’ Karin and Minus initially often carefree, then exclusively caring. In the last frame grab the brother’s anguish is clear—he’s wishing he could do, something, to help his sister.
As often in Ingmar Bergman films, the man behind the camera’s contribution is equal to anybody’s. Robert Ebert said of cinematographer Sven Nykvist:
‘Ingmar Bergman works hand-in-hand with his cinematographer, Sven Nykvist, one of the greatest artists of his craft. Sven Nykvist makes us realize that most movies simply illuminate faces, while he lights them.’
Cracks in the fabric of the wall and in Karin’s perception. Although her condition is never named, we believe Karin’s is suffering from a progressive form of schizophrenia. Her imagined crack in the wall is where God will announce himself.
However, Karin’s ascension doesn’t go to plan, lack of certainty in her faith matching her lack of certainty in her perception. Counterpointing this, the film ends with faith bringing together father and son, at last offering some tangible certainty.
Reference: Through a Glass Darkly – Wikipedia