24 January 2000 | iam-1
Bergman knows how to make you think.
Bergman has been seen by many as being a depressing film makes, who speaks above the heads of most people. Thank God someone does! In this piece of genius, we are asked to consider who God is; what makes a life worthwhile; and whether human nature alters through the generations, or is it just the costumes that change? As usual, the answers are to be provided by the audience. We must chose for ourselves what we think is 'right' or 'just'. Bergman uses the usual pattern for him - a man is on a journey (life) and meets people who are going along the same road (friends and family), and they all head toward the end of their trip (death). They stop in for obligatory visits with relatives and for food (as we all do), receive an honourary degree (fame & success?), and then send the children off to a party held in our honour that we do not attend (funeral). What happens along the way is important, but we always end up in the same place - the end. Wonderful editing techniques, good story, good images, fantastic acting, and more ideas and questions to ponder than one film can hold - or so you thought. It's only after the film ends that these ponderings come to you. During the film, you simply watch a man travel from his home to another city, but this is far from what the film is about. See this film once, think about the questions it poses, then rewind and see it again. You will be rewarded for doing so.