Cries and whispers

Cries and whispers

[Viskningar och rop]

DVD - 2001 | Swedish
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A story of four women's search for spiritual peace. Agnes, a spinster who lives with her housekeeper, is dying of cancer, and is visited one last time by her two sisters, Karin and Maria. These two become entangled in feelings of jealousy, manipulation and selfishness. Yet Agnes, tortured by cancer, is able to transcend her sisters' pettiness to remember moments of staggering beauty as well as horror.
Publisher: [U.S.] : Criterion Collection/Janus Films, c2001.
ISBN: 9780780024038
Branch Call Number: PN1995.9.F67 V58 2001
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (91 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.
Alternative Title: Viskningar och rop


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Jan 16, 2015

A woman’s impending death from cancer tears apart the already tenuous relationship she has with her two sisters in Ingmar Bergman’s unhappy look at sex, lies, and anxieties in a fin de siècle Swedish manor. As the dying Agnes (Harriet Andersson, magnificent) alternates between calm reflection and violent outbursts her sister Maria (a glowing Liv Ullman) becomes increasingly detached from her own life, engaging in a petty affair while barely tolerating her despondent husband. Sister Karin on the other hand shrinks from all forms of love and human contact, even taking a piece of broken glass to her vagina as if to mock her husband’s conjugal expectations. Only Anna, the family’s loyal maidservant, seems emotionally equipped to deal with Agnes, cradling the frightened woman close to her breasts while whispering soft comforts—could she be thinking of her own child whom she lost years earlier? As Agnes’ final hour approaches an ice cold chasm opens between each character with Maria and Karin going through the motions of sibling intimacy (the husbands relegated to mere background noise) while Anna dutifully dresses them and prepares their meals. And then Agnes dies and the family dynamics shift one final time… This is not a subtle film by any means—autumn stalks the backyard, sunlight ebbs and floes through curtained windows, and winds sigh around mossy statues. The sisters’ luxurious mansion itself becomes a powerful psychological space with off-white gowns fluttering past walls painted a lurid blood red and everywhere the incessant ticking of clocks. An adulterous kiss is exchanged in a shadowy doorway, a visiting parson’s prayer over Agnes’ body turns into an anguished cry for personal salvation, and in one particularly harrowing scene a post mortem visit between Agnes and her sisters drives home the final wedge. The theatrical flourishes may seem stagey to some, but for those of us accustomed to the master’s touch this is quintessential Bergman.

Nov 09, 2014

I thought this was a rather moody, slow movie. Did not care for so many pauses that were apparently used for segues. Also the gratuitous nudity did not move the story along. Some artsy films I like, but I cannot recommend this one.

Jun 26, 2014

An exploration of time, death, dying and relationships. I really liked the bell sounds and the way the slowing down and occasional stopping of time was portrayed. Not cheerful by any means but for those who like human drama of the deep and difficult kind this will be of great interest.

Mar 10, 2012

Bleak, sad, despairing

Oct 14, 2010

Sorry, Ingmar, you could have done a better job. Although it is beautifully filmed it is far inferior to "Anna's Passion" or "Fanny and Alexander."


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Mar 10, 2012

Other: Some modest nudity

Mar 10, 2012

Violence: Woman cuts herself with a sharp piece of glass. Also scenes of a painful death.


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Mar 10, 2012

Liber_vermis thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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