In the middle of the 14th century, the knight Antonius Blok and his squire return after ten years of crusades to their native Sweden. Blok is tired of life, and does not see anything around him, for the sake of which it would be worth continuing to drag out his existence. But first he wants to make sure that God is …
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The gloomy sky, covered with clouds, under it stretches an endless harsh sea, waves with a splash run and break on the stones. On the shore lies the knight Antonius Blok, who returned to his homeland after an unsuccessful ten-year crusade from the Holy Land. Here, on the seashore, the knight is destined to meet his Death, which has been following him for a long time. But Blok is in no hurry, there are still many questions to which he needs to find answers, and he offers Death to play chess with him, putting his life on the line. They start a game that, intermittently, will frame the entire film, a game that every person leads his entire life and always loses in the end. The knight Antonius Blok will also lose it, but the pause before the end for him is another attempt to find God.
The film “The Seventh Seal” is based on the play “Painting on Wood”, which was born from Bergman’s childhood memories. As a child, he accompanied his father when he went to preach in rural churches, where he immersed himself in contemplation of crucifixes, frescoes and stained-glass windows: âThere were Jesus and the robbers, bloodied, in cramps; Mary leaning towards John (‘behold your son, behold your mother’); Mary Magdalene, the sinner (who did she last sleep with?). The knight plays chess with Death. Death is sawing the Tree of Life, at the top sits, wringing his hands, a poor man seized with horror. Death, waving a scythe, like a banner, leads a dancing procession to the Kingdom of darkness … ”
The Seventh Seal is a philosophical parable about faith, death, people and about oneself. Such a small, modest film that reflects everything earthly and divine. The director asks questions and shows different points of view. First of all, he opposes Antonius Blok and his squire. The first is a religious fanatic, for whom physical and mental suffering is something insignificant in comparison with the salvation of the soul. Blok seeks to find God, his gaze is fixed on some unknown goal, but God is silent, the questions of the knight in the silent sky remain unanswered.
Squire Jones, on the other hand, is an atheist, a man with a fighter soul, he feels pity and compassion, hatred and contempt. Jones says, “We live in a ghost world.” The scene of the execution of a young witch sentenced to be burned alive is indicative. The knight does not care about the physical suffering of the girl, it is important for him to know if the witch saw the devil. He wants to know if Satan exists, because then God also exists, which means it’s not in vain. But the atheist Jones is worried about the suffering of the girl.
A person is always haunted by the fear of death. But it is not death itself that scares us, but what awaits us after it. It is difficult to come to terms with the idea that you will suddenly turn into nothingness. And everyone answers this question in their own way. To be an atheist requires a lot of courage – to live knowing that further, after life, nothing awaits you very difficult. Ingmar Bergman wrote: “The thought that I would die and thereby cease to be, that I would enter the gates of the Kingdom of Darkness, that there was something that I was not able to control, organize or foresee, was a source of constant terror for me.”
But faith also requires a lot of courage in our cruel world. All the best in this world is bought only at the cost of great suffering. Believe with all your heart, and in return there is no evidence, only the promise of Eternal life after death. “Faith is grievous suffering.”
Finally, Bergman contrasted religious fanaticism and intolerance with the Holiness of man. Two important characters in the picture: Yuf and Mia – wandering artists, young spouses. Yuf is a kind-hearted poet and a poet, and Mia embodies feminine beauty and natural wisdom, the joy of motherhood and fidelity. Juf and Mia, this is, of course, Joseph and Mary. They personify the joy of being and love. When the knight meets Mia, she treats him to strawberries with milk. And here a picture of true happiness opens before the knight … A meeting with Yuf and Mia for Blok, of course, is not able to resolve his doubts, but it reminds him of the lost paradise, when he was happy in his ancestral castle with his beloved wife. This gives the knight strength and gives him the opportunity to finish his life with dignity. Block will save Yuf, Mia and their little son from the all-devouring Death.
Codec: HEVC / H.265 (79.7 Mb/s)
Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)
HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10
Original aspect ratio: 1.37:1
Swedish: LPCM 1.0
Swedish: Dolby Digital 1.0
English: Dolby Digital 2.0