The Virgin Spring

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Year Released: 1960
Rating: 3.5

A religious father (Max Von Sydow) avenges the rape and murder of his daughter and afterwards questions how and why a fair God could allow such things to happen to such good people. Starts off a little rocky - the blonde, beaming daughter is the pure one while the dirty, grizzled, brunette one is pregnant; they have a very pointed conversation about virginity right before the disaster takes place - but it becomes more powerful with its second act, starting with the encounter with the barbarians and the haunting, eerily silent rape scene. That's something you can't take away from Bergman (no matter if you appreciate his work or not): he was never afraid to at least try to ask the major questions of life with his films, which can be a gamble if not done with meticulous care - yet, despite all his doubts as an artist, he wasn't a total pessimist, with the title spring suggesting some kind of salvation and a glimmer of hope. If cinema was ever taken seriously as literature - and it is not - Bergman would certainly have won the Nobel Prize.