Cries And Whispers (Bergman Ingmar)
It is early Monday morning...
and I am in pain.
are taking turns staying up.
- Did anything happen? - No, she's been very quiet.
- Thank you. - I fell asleep.
Anna, see to the fire.
I thank Thee, dear Lord for allowing me...
to awaken well and cheerful this morning...
after a good sleep under Thy protection...
and for the enjoyment of a restful night.
I beseech Thee also today and each day...
to let the angels watch over and protect my little girl...
whom Thou in Thy unfathomable wisdom tookest unto Thyself...
in Thy homeland. Amen.
Mother is in my thoughts nearly every day...
although she's been dead for over 20 years.
I remember she would often seek...
the solitude and peace of the grounds.
I also remember that I would follow her at a distance...
and spy on her without really meaning to...
because I loved her to such a jealous extreme.
I loved her because she was so gentle...
and beautiful and alive...
and so all-pervadingly present.
But she could also be cold, playfully cruel...
and rebuff me.
Yet I could not help feeling sorry for her...
and now that I'm older, I understand her much better.
I wish I could see her again...
to tell her what I understand...
of her boredom, her impatience...
her longing and her loneliness.
And when the wicked witch at last realized...
that little Gretel had tricked her...
her nose started to grow and grow.
At Twelfth Night Mother always gave a party...
and Aunt Olga would come with her magic lantern...
and her fairy tales.
I always felt frightened and left out.
When Mother spoke to me in her hurried way...
I could hardly understand what she wanted of me.
Mother and Maria always had many things to whisper about...
but then they were so alike.
Jealously I used to wonder what they were laughing at together.
Everyone was in gay spirits.
I was the only one who couldn't join in the merriment.
Another time, I remember it was autumn...
I hid behind the curtain...
and in secret watched her.
She was in the red drawing room wearing her white dress...
sitting quite still with her head bent...
and her hands resting on the table.
Suddenly she saw me...
and in a gentle voice called me.
- Come. - Uncertain, I went up to her...
thinking that, as usual, she was going to scold me.
But instead she gave me a look so full of sorrow...
that I nearly burst into tears.
I raised my hand and put it against her cheek...
and for that moment we were very close.
There's someone out there.
There's someone out there.
Good morning, Agnes.
Good morning, Doctor.
She is very tired now. I don't think it will be long.
Thank you. I know the way.
It's been so long.
When can I see you again?
Some years earlier...
when Agnes had gone to Italy for her health...
Maria and her husband, Joakim, were staying at the manor.
One evening, Anna's little daughter was taken ill...
and Maria sent for the family doctor...
who lived in the nearby country town.
- Now say "ah." - Ah.
- Once again. - Ah.
That hurt a little? I can see that.
What a good girl. That wasn't too bad, eh?
Off to bed with you now.
You'll feel better after a good night's sleep.
- Thank you. - Doctor, are you hungry?
If you'd like a little supper the table's being prepared.
Oh yes, that would be nice.
Agnes and Karin are still traveling in Italy.
I received a letter from them last week.
Agnes is much better.
- Her cough is entirely gone. - Mm-hmm.
And she's picked up her painting again.
Karin's husband decided to join them at Easter.
They've been having good weather.
It's like summer, even though the nights are chilly.
Your husband, he's well?
Joakim, he had some business in town this evening...
and won't be back 'til tomorrow.
I told him I would ask you to come here to look in...
on Anna's little girl.
- He sends his best regards. - Thank you.
Anna's been told to get the guest room ready.
The weather's so awful.
I don't think you ought to go home on such a night.
- You've changed a lot. - Really? Oh.
Is there anyone else?
Isn't there always?
I never would have thought the problem could interest you.
Nor does it.
Do you wear spectacles all the time now?
- Am I bothering you? - No, it's all right.
Why are you so formal?
Couldn't you let the past be forgotten?
Come here, Marie.
Look at yourself in the mirror.
You are probably more beautiful now than before.
But you have changed a lot too.
I want you to see how you've changed.
Now your eyes cast quick, calculating side glances.
You used to look ahead straightforwardly...
Your mouth has taken on an expression of discontent...
It used to be so soft.
Your complexion is pale now. You use makeup.
Your fine, broad forehead...
now has four wrinkles above each brow.
No, you can't see it in this light...
but you can in broad daylight.
Do you know what caused those wrinkles?
- No. - Indifference, Marie.
And this fine line that runs from ear to chin...
is not as obvious any more...
but it is etched there by your easygoing, indolent ways.
And there, by the bridge of your nose.
Why do you sneer so often, Marie?
You see it? You sneer too often.
And look under your eyes.
The sharp, scarcely noticeable lines...
of your impatience and your ennui.
Can you actually see all of that in my face?
No, but I feel it when you kiss me.
I think you're joking with me.
It's evident where you see it.
- Really? Where? - You see it in yourself.
Because we're so alike, you and I.
You mean the selfishness?
I usually find your arguments boring.
Is there no absolution for such as you and I?
I haven't any need of being pardoned.
Good morning, sir.
Good morning, Joakim.
- Welcome home. - Good morning, Maria.
Anna's little girl is quite ill, you know.
The doctor was here last night.
He sends you his regards...
and hopes you can get together to play chess again.
The weather was so bad I asked him to stay overnight.
He left early this morning before we were up.
Did you enjoy yourself in town or was there too much work?
We have an invitation from the Egermans.
They'd be delighted if we stayed with them at Easter.
I think I would enjoy that.
It would make for a change.
What do you think about it?
Well, we'll see.
Run along and play.
Help me, please.
Do you hear?
I only hear the wind and the clocks ticking.
No, it's something else.
I don't hear anything else.
Come to me.
You're so far away.
Close to me.
Do I smell very bad?
- It hurts so much, Anna. - I know, Agnes.
I'm going to stay with you.
- It will all be all right. - It hurts so badly.
You don't have to worry when I'm here.
You know that.
The pillow's so warm.
We can take the other one.
Come. Let's see.
Can you lift yourself up a little?
Can you slide down now?
Is it better so?
Is it better?
You are so good to me.
Yes? What's the matter?
Agnes is worse.
I don't think she's conscious.
She's breathing very strangely.
I'll get my shawl.
- Karin! - What is it?
- Agnes is worse. - I'm coming.
- I'll go for the doctor. - I'll go with you.
Anna! Anna! Anna!
- Where's the doctor? - He wasn't home.
All right, Anna. You had better get dressed.
I'll stay with her.
I'm much better now.
Only rather warm.
Would you like to have a wash now?
- And put on a clean gown? - Yes, thank you.
- I'm a little thirsty. - Yes, of course.
- Shall I read a little? - Oh, I'd love it.
"Chapter 34, in which Mr. Pickwick thinks...
"he had better go to Bath, and goes accordingly.
"'But surely, my dear sir, ' said little Perker...
"as he stood in Mr. Pickwick's apartment...
"on the morning after the trial.
"'Surely you don't really mean, really and seriously now...
"'and irritation apart...
"'that you won't pay these costs and damages? '
"'Not one halfpenny, ' said Mr. Pickwick firmly.
"'Not one halfpenny. '
"'Hooray for the principle, as the moneylender said...
"'when he wouldn't renew the bill'...
"observed Mr. Weller, who was clearing away breakfast.
"'Sam, ' said Mr. Pickwick...
"'have the goodness to step downstairs. '
"'Certainly, sir, ' replied Mr. Weller...
"and acting on Mr. Pickwick's gentle hint, Sam retired."
Can't anyone... Can't anyone help me?
God, our Father, in His infinite wisdom...
has called you home to Him...
still in the bloom of your youth.
In your life He found you worthy...
of bearing a long and torturous agony.
You submitted to it patiently and without complaint...
in the certain knowledge that your sins would be forgiven...
through the death on the cross of your Lord, Jesus Christ.
May your Father in Heaven...
when you step into His presence...
have mercy on your soul.
May He let His angels remove from you the memory...
of your earthly pain.
Should it be...
that you gathered up our suffering in agony...
into your body.
Should it be you bore with you...
this hardship through death.
Should it be that you meet with God...
as you come to that other land.
Should it be that you find his countenance...
turned toward you then.
Should it be that you know the language to speak...
so this God may hear and understand.
Should it be that you then talk with this God...
and he hear you out.
Should it be so...
pray for us.
Agnes, dear child, please listen.
Listen to what I have to tell you now.
Pray for us who have been left in darkness...
left behind on this miserable Earth...
with the sky above us, grim and empty.
Lay your burden at God's feet...
the whole of all your suffering...
and plead with Him to pardon us.
Plead with Him that He may free us...
of our anxiety and of our weariness...
of our misgivings and fears.
Plead with Him that He may make...
sense and meaning of our lives.
Agnes, you who have borne...
your anguish and suffering so long...
are most surely worthy...
of advocating our cause.
She was my confirmation child.
We often had talks together through the many years.
Her faith was stronger than mine.
If you don't mind, I could see you tomorrow...
and we can discuss the formalities of the funeral.
Some years earlier, Karin and her husband Fredrik...
were pursuing a diplomatic career.
During a visit to their native land...
they stayed for some months at the manor.
Please, Anna, may I have a little more fish?
- Won't you keep me company? - No, thank you.
- What are you smiling about? - I'm not smiling.
Do you want coffee or are we going to retire immediately?
I don't want coffee. Thank you.
It's late. I suggest we retire now.
It's but a tissue of lies. All of it.
Don't look at me!
Don't look at me like that, I say!
Help me to undress.
You may go.
It's but a tissue of lies.
It's a monumental tissue of lies.
Tissue of lies.
- What are you doing? - Going through documents...
books and papers concerning the estate.
Karin, I want us to be friends.
I want us to talk to each other.
After all, we're sisters.
We have so many of the same memories.
Karin, it's so strange how we don't reach one another...
how we only make small talk.
Karin, why won't you be my friend?
We've both been happy and unhappy.
We could laugh and cry together.
We could talk together for days and nights on end.
We could put our arms around each other.
I wander through our childhood home sometimes...
where all is at once strange but familiar...
and it seems I am in a dream...
and an event of great importance is in store for us.
Yes, I know I am childish.
You read much more than I do, think much more than I do.
Your experience is far greater.
Karin, couldn't we devote these days...
to getting to know each other finally?
To coming closer together?
I can't stand to be silent and distant, Karin.
Karin, have I said something to hurt you?
It's easy to do, but I didn't mean to hurt your feelings.
What are you reading?
- I'm reading Agnes' diary. - A diary?
"Thursday, September 30."
She's written, "I received the most wonderful gift...
"anyone can receive in this life.
"A gift that is called many things: togetherness...
"companionship, relatedness, affection.
"I think this is what is called 'grace. ' "
No, don't touch me! Don't come near me!
I can't stand anyone touching me.
I don't want you to do that.
I don't want it.
I don't want you to be kind to me.
I can't! I can't stand it!
It's like being in the greatest hell.
I can't breathe any longer.
All of that guilt.
Leave me alone. Leave me alone.
Don't touch me.
Don't touch me.
Don't touch me.
Don't touch me. Don't touch me.
I am sorry I lost control of myself this morning.
I don't know what came over me.
I suppose it's all the emotion concerning Agnes' death.
We were so fond of her. Now that the funeral is over...
I'll have our lawyer look after all the legal formalities.
The fruit please, Anna.
It's best we sell the house and grounds.
You and I can divide up all the rest of it.
I mean, the furniture and other things...
like china, silverware, books and pictures.
All right, Anna, that will be all now.
What shall we do about Anna?
I suggest that we give her notice...
and a few weeks extra pay.
And also a little article of Agnes'.
She was quite devoted.
The fact of it is that they were very attached.
Now she trails after us in much too familiar a manner.
I don't think...
I've often thought about it.
It's very degrading...
and everlastingly the same.
Henrik's an excellent lawyer, I assure you.
My husband says that I'm clumsy.
My hands are too large, you understand.
You look so disconcerted.
You thought our talk would be different, didn't you?
Do you realize I hate you?
And how foolish I find your insipid smiles...
and your idiotic flirtatiousness.
How have I managed to tolerate you so long...
and not say anything?
I know of what you're made...
with your empty caresses and your false promises.
Can you conceive how anybody can live with so much hate...
as has been my burden?
There's no relief, no charity, no help.
There is nothing.
You understand? Nothing can escape me...
for I see it all.
Now you hear how it sounds when Karin talks.
You sit there grinning your cold little grin.
What are you thinking?
Would you care to tell me?
May I have your opinion?
No! That's just what I thought.
You'd rather stay silent.
And you are right, Maria!
Maria! Forgive me.
Maybe you mean well.
Maybe you just want to know me better.
Maria, dear, forgive me.
I do run on and on.
No. No, that's not true either.
Maria, look at me.
Maria, look at me.
Don't you hear it?
Don't you hear the crying? Don't you hear it?
Someone is crying endlessly.
- Are you afraid of me now? - No, not in the least.
I'm dead, you see.
The trouble is I can't get to sleep.
I can't leave you all.
I'm so tired.
Can't anyone help me?
- It's but a dream, Agnes. - No, it's not a dream.
Perhaps for you it's a dream...
but not for me.
I want Karin to come here.
Agnes wants Karin to come to her.
Can't you hold my hands and warm me?
Stay with me until the horror is over.
It's so empty all around me.
Nobody would do what you ask. I'm still alive.
I won't accept involvement with your death.
Perchance, if I had loved you...
but I do not love you.
What you ask me to do is repulsive.
I'm leaving you now. In a few hours I'll be gone.
- Anna. - Yes.
I want Maria to come.
Agnes wants Maria to come in.
Don't be afraid.
Please touch me.
Please talk with me.
Hold my hands and warm me.
You are my sister. I don't want you to be alone.
Oh, how sorry I am for you.
Do you recall when we were small...
and twilight came as we played...
and both of us became frightened...
and we'd cuddle very close and hold each other tight.
It's simply the same thing now, isn't it?
I can't hear what you're saying.
You must come closer to me.
Hold my hands.
I'll stay with you. I'll stay here.
You needn't be afraid. I'll stay by her.
There's my daughter I must think about.
She must realize that. Also, my husband needs me.
It's pure morbidity, disgusting, meaningless.
She's already begun to rot.
She has foul spots on her hands.
I'll take care of her.
The funeral was tolerable. No one wept or grew hysterical.
Thank you. Have you finished packing, Anna?
I just have to bring the last trunk down, ma'am.
Hurry up. We are pressed for time.
The music was fine. Thankfully, the bishop's address was short.
Fortunate that he had a chill so we could call off the dinner.
Hadn't something better be done for Anna?
Sorry, but I don't understand what you mean.
She's looked after Agnes for the last 1 2 years.
Shouldn't we offer her a small sum...
or help her find a new place?
Out of the question. She's young and strong...
and has had it very easy up until now.
Her future is not our responsibility.
I did promise her she could take a memento with her.
- Of her own choosing? - I think she has that right.
I do detest that sort of spontaneity...
but you can't renege.
I think we should speak to her right away.
Anna, you may stay on here for a time if it is necessary.
You were promised a memento of Agnes'.
Thank you. I want nothing at all.
She's trying to play a nice role.
But she won't get anything for it.
- Stay 'til the month's end. - Yes.
Well, if there's nothing left for us to attend to.
Let's leave before the roads to the station are snowed under.
Good-bye now, Anna. Thank you.
Thank you for all you did.
- Could I speak to you a second? - Of course.
That evening we came close to each other...
have you thought about what we discussed?
Yes, of course, I've thought a lot about it.
Could we hold to all of our resolutions?
Dearest Karin, why on earth shouldn't we do that?
I have no idea.
It's that everything seems different since that evening.
I think we've become very much closer.
What are you thinking about?
I'm thinking about the conversation...
- No, you're not. - I was thinking how Joakim...
hates it if I keep him waiting.
I have no idea why you call me to account...
as if I were on trial for my thoughts, Karin.
What do you want?
- Nothing. - No.
If there's nothing you want, don't be hurt...
because I must say good-bye to you now.
You touched me. Don't you remember that?
I don't recall each stupid act...
and never try forcing me to answer for one.
Dearest Karin, give the children my love and keep well.
'Til Twelfth Night. As usual, we'll meet then.
"Wednesday, the third of September.
"The tang of autumn fills the clear, still air...
"but it's mild and fine."
My sisters, Karin and Maria, have come to see me.
It's wonderful to be together again...
like in the old days, and I am feeling much better.
We were even able to go for a little walk together...
such an event for me...
especially since I haven't been out of doors for so long.
Suddenly we began to laugh and run toward the old swing...
that we hadn't seen since we were children.
We sat in it like three good little sisters...
and Anna pushed us, slowly and gently.
All my aches and pains were gone.
The people I am most fond of in all the world were with me.
I could hear their chatting around me.
I could feel the presence of their bodies...
the warmth of their hands.
I wanted to hold the moment fast and thought:
"Come what may, this is happiness.
"I cannot wish for anything better.
"Now, for a few minutes...
"I can experience perfection.
"And I feel profoundly grateful to my life...
"which gives me so much. "
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