Listen at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m001qmkx
In the 1000th edition of In Our Time, Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss arguably the most celebrated film of the Swedish director Ingmar Bergman (1918-2007). It begins with an image that, once seen, stays with you for the rest of your life: the figure of Death playing chess with a Crusader on the rocky Swedish shore. The release of this film in 1957 brought Bergman fame around the world. We see Antonius Block, the Crusader, realising he can’t beat Death but wanting to prolong this final game for one last act, without yet knowing what that act might be. As he goes on a journey through a plague ridden world, his meeting with a family of jesters and their baby offers him some kind of epiphany.
Director of the Ingmar Bergman Foundation, Stockholm
Professor of Cinema History and Director of the School of European Languages, Culture and Society at University College London
Professor of Film at the University of Winchester
Producer: Simon Tillotson