Jungfrukällan (The Virgin Spring)
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Jungfrukällan (The Virgin Spring)
Inspired by a medieval Swedish ballad, Ingmar Bergman's The Virgin Spring (Jungfrukallan) begins with a scene of unspeakable brutality and ends with an image of uncommon beauty. 15-year-old Birgitta Peterson, on her way to church to light candles for the Virgin Mary, is raped and murdered by two older men. The men look for shelter at the home of Birgitta's father (Max Von Sydow), who murders the bestial killers in cold blood. When the deed is done, Von Sydow, a deeply religious man, begins to question the efficacy of a God that would allow his daughter's death, then permit so… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Sven Nykvist's luminous black-and-white photography conspiring with the austerity of Bergman's imagery to create an extraordinary metaphysical charge."
‑ , Time Out
"Easily lost amid a brilliant career, The Virgin Spring once again shows Bergman's control in capturing the furthest ranges of emotion."
‑ Matthew Sorrento, Film Threat
"Winner of the Foreign-Language Oscar Picture, the film represents the first peak of Ingmar Bergman's creativity, released right after The Seventh Seal and before Through a Glass Darkly, all three masterpieces."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"It is also a crucial film because it was the first to be shot entirely by Sven Nykvist, who would become Bergman's longtime cinematographer and would be largely responsible for shaping the visual aesthetic of his later works."
‑ James Kendrick, Q Network Film Desk
"Brutal and miraculous."
‑ Leo Goldsmith, Not Coming to a Theater Near You
"It is far from an easy picture to watch or entirely commend. For Mr. Bergman has stocked it with scenes of brutality that, for sheer unrestrained realism, may leave one sickened and stunned."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"Bergman's instinctive approach to filmmaking %u2013 like his gripping use of long wordless moments filled with pictures of great power, is in evidence, with some unforgettable scenes that even today, almost 50 years later, have fresh impact."
‑ Urban Cinefile Critics, Urban Cinefile
"[Auds] will be rewarded by the depth of the director's moral and religious questioning, the emotional power of the story and acting, the haunting and symbolic imagery, and the excellent black-and-white photography of Sven Nykvist."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"The master guides us through this heartbreaking tale with a delicate hand and a gorgeous, poetic touch. It's actually one of his simplest and most moving works -- a film to be savored and pondered."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"Troubled, dark ambitious and highly intelligent film from the great Swedish director."
‑ , Film4
"The period details are magnificently worked into the narrative, and the pace and economy of the tortured Swede's storytelling make his metaphysics infinitely easier to take."
‑ Don Druker, Chicago Reader
"Masterfully directed by Sweden's Ingmar Bergman."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Although the 'jiggery-pokery' does mute the 'actual, horrible story,' Bergman still poses worthy questions, offering no answers, a key difference between art and baloney, or spirituality and dogmatism."
‑ Mark Bourne, DVDJournal.com
"Represents the primary nexus between Bergman's austere but accessibly recherché works of the 1950s and his downright ascetic 1960s cinema."
‑ Eric Henderson, Slant Magazine
"Although the story plays straightforwardly, greater enjoyment comes through pondering the meanings behind Bergman's symbolic tapestry."
‑ John A. Nesbit, Old School Reviews
More reviews for Jungfrukällan (The Virgin Spring) on Rotten Tomatoes

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