I guess it is the Nordic blood in my veins that makes me hanker after a little bit of Bergman film noir from time to time. For cinephiles like myself who like darkened, wind-swept, barren landscapes that seem to lock man in a mortal combat with himself, there are a number of Bergman offerings that answer the call. Around Easter this year, I decided to branch out and Watch some Bergman films I had never watched before in honor of the Holy Week. The one that fired my imagination the most was his 1959 “The Winter Night” where a priest is seen going through the painful ordeal of losing his faith. The wind and the rain lashing against the outside of his old near-empty church, and the deserted back-road scene where he is attending to the body of one of his parishioners who has just committed suicide after going to him for counselling. In a black and white setting, in the middle of an overcast winter day one cannot feel a greater sense of helplessness. While I know there is more to this Swedish genius than capturing existential bleakness in a northern setting, such as camera angle, blocking, and deliberate motion, Bergman is the one that takes the minimal of environments and plumbs the depths of human suffering from below as it rises up to confront us. The power of the elements are what the filmmaker uses to express the unleashing of all that is primeval in our lives when we become devoid of hope and love. Misery becomes the lot of those who face the storms of adversity alone without God, friend, or self. Such a philosophical perspective strangely gives that wonderful opportunity to cross those Eliot wastelands in my mind knowing that,  when they may become a real experience, I will not travel them alone because the Lord is truly my Shepherd.