Ambiguity and the Making of Nattvardsgästerna/Winter Light


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Knowledge of how and why a film has been made can make a huge difference
to its understanding and appreciation. Unfortunately, in all too many cases, the
available evidence only offers us glimpses of the long and complicated process
through which a feature-length film has been created. It is often especially hard
to learn much about the filmmakers' perspectives and intentions. One marvelous
exception to that rule is Vilgot Sjöman's documentation of the making of lngmar
Bergman's Nattvardsgästerna [translated literally as The Communicants, but also distributed as Winter Light]. Sjöman personally witnessed much of the making
of the film; he interviewed Bergman and many of his collaborators, reporting
their responses to a variety of pertinent questions. The result was a book and
documentary film that jointly give us invaluable insight into the filmmakers'
attitudes and decisions. In what follows I bring some of this evidence to bear on
some interpretative and evaluative issues raised by the film.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIngmar Bergman at the Crossroads : Between Theory and Practice
PublisherBloomsbury Academic
ISBN (Electronic)9781501389634
ISBN (Print)9781501389641
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


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