Cinema: Enigma Variations

The quality of an obsession should be measured not only by its height but also by its length. Ingmar Bergman's towering concern has endured a lifetime, and it has centered on a single theme: the silence of God. Of late, that silence has been as clamorous as a scream in such films as The Hour of the Wolf and Shame. With The Passion of Anna the Lord takes discernible form. "This time," the narrator declares, "his name was Andreas." But given the trappings of speech and senses, the earthly incarnation remains spiritually mute.


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