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The Virgin Spring / Jungfrukällan (1960)

“The Virgin Spring (Jungfrukällan)” is a 1960 Swedish drama film directed by Ingmar Bergman. Set in medieval Sweden. A cruel and beautiful film with a story about a father’s revenge against the men who raped and murdered his daughter. Based on a 13th-century Swedish ballad, “Töres döttrar i Wänge” (“Töre’s daughters in Vänge”). Clearly influenced by Akira Kurosawa’s film Rashomon (1950). 89 minutes.

The film deals with the themes, such as the silence of God, feelings of guilt, and redemption in the historical context of the coexistence between the old Nordic religion (the worship of the Nordic mythology) and the new Christianity in Sweden.

A wealthy landowner and devout Christian, Töre (Max von Sydow) and his wife Märeta (Birgitta Valberg) send their daughter Karin (Birgitta Pettersson) to take candles as donations to the church. Karin heads to the church with her pregnant servant Ingeri (Gunnel Lindblom). Ingeri secretly worships the Norse deity Odin, and she is jealous of Karin’s beauty and innocence.

Karin encounters a three brothers (two men and a boy) with goats in the forest. The two men rape and murder Karin. Ingeri witnesses the whole thing, but she leaves Karin to die.

Töre finds out that the three brothers murdered Karin. He kills all three brothers including the youngest boy.

Cinematography by Sven Nykvist.

The film won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

The plot of thd film was the basis for the horror film The Last House on the Left (1972) directed by Wes Craven.

The Virgin Spring (1960)
The Virgin Spring (1960)