The Seventh Seal

The Seventh Seal ★★★★★

We must make an idol of our fear, and call it God.
-Antonius Block

More of an experience than a mere film. Exploring faith through the silence of God with a knight returning after a decade away in the Crusades is more then just brilliant, it's powerful film making. That description of course doesn't even begin to do the film justice or contain all the themes it explores.

The knight is Antonius Block played by Max von Sydow, who couldn't be more then 28 at the time, but still embodies experience beyond his years behind a stoic demeanor. His frustrations never seem to get the better of him, but his disillusionment with faith and need for answers is very much there.

The film is bleak as expected, with the crisis of faith in the middle of the plague, filled with deep philosophical dialogue delivered to perfection mostly by von Sydow... well I imagine they were delivered to perfection, when he begins with "Is it so terribly inconceivable to comprehend God with one's senses?" it didn't feel any less powerful because I had to read the subtitles.

One thing I did not expect though is the film's wicked sense of humor mostly through Block's squire Jöns played by Gunnar Björnstrand. It's probably not the greatest of ideas to have a nihilistic squire under you employment when you are having a crisis of faith and playing Death himself in a game of chess.

Wicked humor aside the film is still filled with incredible scenes. Some are visually breathtaking while others are incredibly moving, sometimes accomplishing it with two actors simply looking at each other. Incredible film.

Part of:
5 Directors x 5 Unseen Films – Round 3

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