The Seventh Seal

1957·Sweden·96 min.
The Seventh Seal
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Antonius Block (Max Von Sydow), a knight, returns from a 10-year crusade with his squire, Jöns (Gunnar Björnstrand), to find his homeland ravaged by the plague. When the black-cloaked figure of Death (Bengt Ekerot) appears to claim them, Block, whose war experiences have left him cynical about the existence of God and the afterlife, challenges Death to a game of chess to stall for time and gain some insight into the meaning of life before passing on. The game is intermittently paused and resumed during the journey home while Block and Jöns meet several traveling companions. Block witnesses much suffering and anguish along the way, but also finds evidence of human kindness and love, prompting him to realize that even a single gesture of goodwill might make the long struggle of his existence worthwhile.

ScreenwriterIngmar Bergman
CinematographyGunnar Fischer
Original titleDet sjunde inseglet (The Seventh Seal)