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Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal

Antonius Block (Max von Sydow) and his squire Jöns (Gunnar Bjönstrand) retrun from a decade of fighting in the Crusades to find their homeland ravagedby the Black Plague.

Confronted by the spectre of Death on a desolate beach, the knight challenges him to a game of chess, hoping to forestall his demise as long as the game continues over several sittings.

Bergman’s The Seventh Seal has been much admired, much imitated and even much parodied (for example, in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure).

Starkly existential, boldly poetic, slow and grim, it is a perplexing but stunning allegory of man’s search for meaning.

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