In my film, the crusader returns from the Crusades as the soldier returns from war today. In the Middle Ages, men lived in terror of the plague. Today they live in fear of the atomic bomb. The Seventh Seal is an allegory with a theme that is quite simple: man, his eternal search for God, with death his only certainty. Ingmar Bergman
Points to Consider: Why does Bergman select a medieval setting for his allegory? In what ways would a modern setting change the film? What kind of person is the knight? What is the nature of his quest? What is the knight’s own judgment on the result of his lifelong pursuit?
How does Jons, the squire, compare with his master? Which of the two men appears to be more humane? What does the scene with the milk and wild strawberries mean? How does the comedy relate to the film’s thematic concerns?
Jof, Mia, the child, and, in some interpretations, Karin, all survive. Why? Are they different in some way from the other voyagers? As a vision of death, how does this film compare or contrast with other specific works of narrative art? As a vision of life?
Selected Filmography of Ingmar Bergman Smiles of a Summer Night (1955) Wild Strawberries (1957) The Magician (1958) The Virgin Spring (1959) Through a Glass Darkly (1961) Persona (1966) Hour of the Wolf (1968)
Selected Filmography of Ingmar Bergman (Continued) Cries and Whispers (1972) The Autumn Sonata (1978) From the Life of the Marionettes (1980) Fanny and Alexander (1983)
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