Today I decided to go with an oldie that I haven’t seen, Ingmar Bergman’s ‘The Seventh Seal’. While its almost 60 years old, the themes covered in the movie are timeless. Death is a difficult inevitability, and when faced with it, some try to hide, some try to plead and fight it, and most important to this film, some want to know that their lives had meaning. It’s a great jumping off point for thematic material, as everyone in the movie faced with death reacts in different ways.
The main character, Antonius Block, is confronted by Death at the beginning of the film. The country is being ravaged by the plague, and nobody is safe from it (even though most believed it was punishment from god for the wicked). He is granted a respite by Death in order to play a chess game with him to determine if he will live or die. This plays out over the course of his and his squires journey home to Sweden, after the end of the crusades. He pleads with a priest (who he finds out is death in disguise) that god is not listening to him, and is disillusioned with the existence of this god that he has been fighting for for the past ten years. All he wants before Death takes him is to commit one meaningful act, one thing that made his life worth living.
I related the most to Antonius, because I don’t think anyone wants to be like him at the end of their lives. I thought about my dad more than a few times while watching. He passed away when he was just 48, and I really hope that he knew how much his life meant to the people who surrounded him. We want to know that our lives had meaning, whether it was to raise our children right, create something that makes people happy, or whatever it may be. Sadly, no one gets a respite like Antonius did. All we can do is live the life that makes us happiest, and hopefully it has positive effects on those around us.
I hope you guys are digging these quick write-ups, as it’s more of an exercise than anything. I’m trying to get better at writing, critiquing, and understanding how movies come together, so it’s been fun so far. Like always, I need suggestions for movies to check out, as there are quite a few days of summer, and a movie needed for each of them. Have a great week!