Mixed feelings on “Cries & Whispers”

The recent screening of Ingmar Bergmann’s “Cries and Whispers” evoked mixed reactions from members of the audience. All agreed that it was masterfully directed and the photography evoked the required emotions, but the subject was depressing and challenging – death and its effects on those involved. One of the striking aspects was the long silences – we are so used to the evocative music in most films that the music almost defines how the director wants us to react to a scene. Bergmann uses long silences with nothing but close-ups of the actor to involve our emotions.
All in all, a challenging and engaging film which stayed in the mind long after the final credits. The audience gave it an average 3.8 out of 5, which meant that most recognised the artistry, even if they did not “enjoy” it. An important film, from a ground-breaking film-maker.