Såsom I En Spegel (1961) (aka Through A Glass Darkly)
Ingmar Bergman

“Papa spoke to me”

Through A Glass DarklyIngmar Bergman‘s Oscar-winning film is the first of the “Faith” trilogy and is followed by Nattvardsgästerna (1962) and Tystnaden (1963). The title refers to a biblical passage that means we (humans) have an imperfect interpretation of God and we will see clearly later (possibly after death).

The story revolves around 4 people on an island and spans about 1 day. Karin, played convincingly by Harriet Andersson, has just been discharged from a mental institution. She lives with her husband Martin, father David and brother Minus. Karin’s gradual mental disintegration, David’s indulgence in his writing more than family, Martin’s disappointment at the non-reciprocation of his love and Minus’ struggles with his sexual identity set up the atmosphere of constrained relations and developing sorrow. Karin’s shuttling between her visions and reality, which she knows but cannot do anything about, is known only to Minus who appears to be the only hope for Karin.

Conceptually, the film offers two interpretations of god – one that of love (which David sees and suggests to Minus to hold on) and one that of hate (which is seen by Karin when she views god in a spider form). It, however, ends on a hopeful note leaving the details to its sequels. Beautifully shot in black and White by veteran Sven Nykvist, the movie is characterized by strong performances and thematic costume work like all Bergman films. The film won the Oscar for best foreign film in 1961.