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Cries and Whispers

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This existential wail of a drama from Ingmar Bergman concerns two sisters, Karin (Ingrid Thulin) and Maria (Liv Ullmann), keeping vigil for a third, Agnes (Harriet Andersson), who is dying of cancer and can find solace only in the arms of a beatific servant (Kari Sylwan).

“It stands alone and it reduces almost everything else you’re likely to see this season to the size of a small cinder.” – Vincent Canby, New York Times

An intensely felt film that is one of Bergman’s most striking formal experiments, Cries and Whispers (which won an Oscar for the extraordinary color photography of Sven Nykvist) is a powerful depiction of human behavior in the face of death, positioned on the borders between reality and nightmare, tranquility and terror. (Dir. by Ingmar Bergman, 1972, Sweden, in Swedish with English subtitles, 91 mins., Rated R)