The latent power of The Seventh Seal stems from an everpresent fear in man's mind; a fear of the unknown. That twentieth-century man lives in the shadow of nuclear catastrophe is not fundamental to the film; but it allows one to share the bewilderment of the knight and his companions. It is this search for knowledge that illuminates all Bergman's mature films. It imposes a pattern on life, which becomes a journey through time and space. The transience of human existence does not depress Bergman so much as the pitiful groping of man to comprehend the world around him.
The Seventh Seal, like Wild Strawberries, The Face, and The Virgin Spring, ends on a note of optimism, with...
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