Reverend Tomas Ericsson is a man who cannot grieve. And, because he can’t, he struggles with both God and love. Tomas over and over coldly rejects his desperately loving former lover, Marta. Winter Light Ingmar Bergman 1963, slowly reveals the source of his loss of faith. Tomas loved his dead wife: “When she died, so did I.” This is a bitter man. Turned dead inside. Dead to his parishioners, his previous faith, the possibility of new love. Dead to a young congregant in despair who turns to him in terror for words of hope. All of this spells hopelessness and...

The Seventh Seal is Bergman’s famous religious allegory about a Knight who faces Death and tries to outwit him. The film’s religious symbolism certainly reflects Bergman’s internal struggle with his Lutheran minister father and his questions about faith. But, as a psychoanalyst, I have much more to offer in looking at The Seventh Seal’s chess game with Death as a psychological struggle. I’ll explore the various ways our Knight is haunted by a dark internal depressive force, not unlike the Grim Reaper or the Black Plague, that follows him everywhere and wants to “kill” love and hope. And, we’ll see...