Jungfrukällan (The Virgin Spring) Dir. Ingmar Bergman
I remember being home alone on a rainy day, back in our first place in Austin, scrolling through Netflix's Watch Instantly list. The photo for this film caught my eye. I only noticed a few keywords (foreign, Academy Award Winner, controversial) and hit play.
I had no idea what to expect watching this but I instantly liked it. It's a revenge film set in medieval Sweden. I'm very interested in the middle ages but never really took interest in films that were set in it. Are there many films set in the middle ages? What I liked about this story was that it was based off a 13th century Swedish ballad. The story changed only slightly but I think it's pretty impressive that it has come such a long way and made into a beautiful film.
A young, virtuous daughter, Karin, is sent on a journey by her loving parent to deliver candles to a church. She's accompanied by her pregnant maid servant, Ingeri. After a spat, the two girls part ways and Karin meets 3 herdsman whom she sweetly shares her lunch with. This is where it got pretty difficult to watch.
They rape and murder Karin while Ingeri watches from a distace. The men leave and unknowingly seek shelter at Karin's family's home. They find out what they did when they try to sell the girl's clothes back to her mother. The father then locks the murderers in a shed and kills them, later begging God for forgiveness and promises to build a church on the site where his daughter was killed.
Sound familiar? The Last House on the Left was inspired by this story.