I just want to contribute with a farewell note to a Swedish film-maker/artist – namely Ingmar Bergman, that passed away two days ago. He, among other prominent Swedes, has indeed helped Sweden to market itself as a creative and exciting country. During his 89 years, Bergman produced some 40 (!) or so movies, five (!) wives and nine or so children.
I want to tell you all (and give you a hint that you should definitely check it out!) about my favorite movie of his, “The Seventh Seal”. This is the drama that made Bergman famous as one of the giants of world cinema. Set in 14th-century Europe, the film tells the tale of a disillusioned knight who returns home from the Crusades to find his native land ravaged by the plague. I can never forget the image of the knight delaying his own demise by playing chess with Death. But I think what makes this movie audacious is Bergman’s theme: man’s search for meaning in life in the context of death’s inevitability. The title is a reference to the passage from the Book of Revelation used both at the very start of the film, and again towards the end, beginning with the words “And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour“.