The Seventh Seal

The Seventh Seal (PG)

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Starring: Max Von Sydow, Gunnar Bjornstrand
Sweden, 1957, 1 hour 32 minutes, subtitles, B/W

Wednesday 9 April 2.00 pm
The Courtyard Hereford

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Knight Antonius Block returns from the crusades to find the Black Death ravaging the land. Disillusioned with God and worn out, he meets Death and makes his famous bargain - that his fate will be determined by a game of chess. As he makes his way homewards he takes a troupe of travelling players and a deaf girl under his protection, all the while playing his game with Death who exacts his toll as the pieces fall. Drawing parallels between plague-ridden medieval Europe and a world under nuclear threat, this is both timely and timeless in its power and preoccupations. One of the most influential filmmakers of all time Bergman's preoccupation with eternal themes finds its greatest expression in this his most celebrated film, the work of a master of cinema at the height of his powers.

"Bergman was the great cinematic poet of mortality" Woody Allen

Winner Special Jury Prize Cannes Film Festival 1957

The film will be introduced by Pip Broughton, a Monmouth-based film and television drama director

Recommended by the Festival Board

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