A communion is meticulously performed before a dwindling congregation: a school teacher, Marta, a troubled parishioner, Jonas Persson and Jonas' wife, Karin. But the religious ceremony has lost its significance for its message-bearer, pastor Tomas, who has a crisis of faith. Tomas's inner predicament is fittingly captured by a series of close ups, a characteristic of Bergman's cinematic signature. Tomas is callous and uncaring to the woman, Marta, who loves him. His interactions with Marta are mostly mechanical and ultimately acrimonious. When an apprehensive and suicidal Jonas seeks peace on a perceived imminent nuclear holocaust, equivocating Tomas offers his own uncertainty. Jonas gives in to the internal crisis, laden with faith, and commits suicide. The most bare and visually somber of Ingmar Bergman's religious trilogy, Winter Light, the second film of the trilogy, is a film in transition. It marks Bergman's final exploration of religious faith, or of the reasons to doubt the lack thereof, and serves as an overture to the psychological drama, the last part of his trilogy. Similar to Through a Glass Darkly, minimal cast, dialogue, and scenery suffuse the film, squeezing out the atmospheric tensions of the plot to its fundamental essence: God's silence. The unique use of monologues, elongated silences, and extreme close-ups convey emotional plights of the characters and paint a picture of emotional isolation. In perfect harmony are the barren landscape, seasonal climate, and Tomas' illness that further reflect the cold emptiness of his soul. In the final scene, Tomas returns to the obligation of the ceremonial communion attended by a meager mass. Tomas is seen to minister the vacant words for those who solicit comfort from their lofty meaning, extract from them stamina for their spiritual solace and emotional composure.