Cries And Whispers is a 1972 Swedish film set in a 19th century mansion that is lavishly appointed in red drapes, red furniture, and red carpet throughout. The story follows Agnes who is dying of cancer and her 2 sisters, Maria and Karin, who return to the family home to be with her, though they offer no comfort to her or to each other. Maria is beautiful and narcissistic whose affairs with her doctor drives her husband to attempt suicide. Karin is cold and ascetic and would rather "abuse herself" than to sleep with her husband. The only source of warmth in the mansion comes from Anna, their maid, who lost her own daughter to an illness. Agnes bears the pain of her sisters who are separated by “a tissue of lies.”
This terrifically acted film by my favorite director Ingmar Bergman stars Harriet Andersonn as Agnes, Liv Ullmann as Maria, Ingrid Thulin as Karin, Kari Sylwan as Anna, and the great Erland Josephson as David in what I consider Bergman’s transformation from his black and white films that dealt with religious, existential, and philosophical themes--such as Wild Strawberries, The Seventh Seal, and The Virgin Spring--to color films that delved into the psyche (particulary females) such as Persona, Scenes From a Marriage, Autumn Sonata, and, of course, this movie. This is 1 of my favorite films of Bergman's and 1 I can't wait to sink my teeth into. So get out your scalpels and share your dissection of this great film with me and others.