Bergman employs [women] as spokeswomen to express his personal world-view—a world-view basically defined by the traumatic absence and silence of God, who has coldly abandoned us all to a cruel world. His women characters sometimes serve Bergman to express his agony over our ultimate inability to derive meaning from life except in rare moments of sensual ecstasy, soon contaminated by disgust over the bodily processes in which all experience is rooted. Yet if women occasionally are Bergman's vehicle for locating meaning, it is much more frequently male characters who pursue the ethical issues in his films which are not peculiar to either sex.
What is striking about Bergman's treatment of women is...
(The entire section is 1282 words.)