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The Seventh Seal 1957

  • Ingmar Bergman
  • October 13, 1958
  • 97 mins
  • Swedish
  • Drama, Fantasy
When disillusioned Swedish knight Antonius Block returns home from the Crusades to find his country in the grips of the Black Death, he challenges Death to a chess match for his life. Tormented by the belief that God does not exist, Block sets off on a journey, meeting up with traveling players Jof and his wife, Mia, and becoming determined to evade Death long enough to commit one redemptive act while he still lives.


All 3 Comments

Beautifully shot, especially the more dark and brooding scenes, the film explores some interesting themes on the inevitability of death, the existence of God, the meaning of life, or lack thereof, and religious extremism. All quite sombre themes, but thankfully the film does attempt to balance these themes, notably with the warmer scenes involving the family of actors that Von Sydow eventually meets up with. The scenes with Death have been much parodied, but they are still quite striking. The film itself also has wit and humour in the more lighter moments, but the darker scenes do tend to dominate the film and have the most impact, especially those moments showing religious extremism explicitly. It is however difficult to connect with the story at first with the characters initially separated. but Von Sydow and the family of actors hold the attention throughout and it is still an interesting film.

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