"The Silence" Is Released

The Silence (Swedish: Tystnaden) is a 1963 film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman starring Ingrid Thulin and Gunnel Lindblom.

After a nightly train journey through desolate countryside, two sisters stop at a hotel in an unidentified Central European country on the brink of war or insurrection. The older, more cultured sister, Ester (Ingrid Thulin), who is a literary translator, is taken ill, and it turns out to be terminal. Her fear of death, as well as long-standing rivalry and need for control, cloud her relationship with her younger, beautiful sister Anna (Gunnel Lindblom), who's depicted as the fleshly side of the spirit/flesh dichotomy. The younger sister sometimes neglects her son Johan (Jörgen Lindström) (a boy of 8 or so), who wanders around the seemingly empty hotel while Anna looks around the city, resulting in a sexual encounter. None of the three know the language of the country.

The third entry in Ingmar Bergman's trilogy about faith and redemption (with Through A Glass Darkly and Winter Light) is a stark and enigmatic allegory fueled by subtle performances from Ingrid Thulin and Gunnel Lindblom. Thulin plays Ester, a translator and intellectual, who is traveling back to Sweden on a train with her younger sister Anna (Linblom) and Anna's son Johan (Jorgen Lindstrom). They stop in the town of Timuku and check into an old hotel in a foreign land where the language cannot be understood by the three travelers. Ester, who suffers from a terminal lung disease, is very protective towards Anna; but Anna resents being tied down by her sickly sister, and she leaves the hotel room, picking up a waiter (Birger Malmsten in a nearby café. Returning to the hotel room, Anna tells Ester about her sexual encounter with the waiter, and Ester becomes sexually aroused. Anna leaves for another room in the hotel to continue making love with the waiter. Johan helps Ester track Anna down Anna, and Anna and the waiter proceed to make love a third time. This provokes a violent and biter argument between the two sisters. ~ Paul Brenner, All Movie Guide