Sometimes, when I lie awake at night, I wonder whether I’ve lived at all. Is it the same for everybody? Do some people have a greater talent for living than others or do some people never live, but just exist?
My words mean nothing to you. People like you can’t be reached. I wonder whether your madness isn’t the worst kind. You act healthy, act it so well that everyone believes you–everyone except me, because I know how rotten you are.
These two scenes — of Anna, embracing Agnes, and of Karin and Maria touching like frightened kittens — are two of the greatest Bergman has ever created. The feeling in these scenes — I should say, the way they force us to feel — constitutes the meaning of this film. It has no abstract message; it communicates with us on a level of human feeling so deep that we are afraid to invent words for the things found there. — Roger Ebert, 1973