Playing Chess With The Devil

Playing Chess With the DevilIn Ingmar Bergman’s 1957 knight’s tale, The Seventh Seal, Antonius Block (Max Von Sydow) returns home from the Crusades to see his country ravaged by plague, famine and bad haircuts. To add insult to injury, Block discovers that Death (Bengt Ekerot) has come to take him away, so the knight challenges the Grim Reaper to a game of chess — if he wins, he can return home to his wife and family. If he loses… Game over, man. Game over!

The Knight seeks answers about life, death and the existence of God as he plays chess against the devil during the Black Plague. (86 second excerpt with English subtitles.)

There is a lot to the film that merits discussion and your viewing of the film but I am not qualified to do so nor do I remember it enough having seen the film in late 1969 or early 1970.

I saw the film at a very lonely time in my life. I was going to junior college after having returned from three years in the army and one year in Vietnam. The young ladies were disliking me for being a Vet and “baby killer.” I did not fit in the college society of 1969-70. What I got from the film is that life will give you a lot of pain, heartache, sorrow and troubles but if you always resist succumbing to despair and misery, a living death, there remains hope. The movie does make the point that Death can’t be avoided so live your life the best you can.

Wishing you strength to play your best game of life.

One thought on “Playing Chess With The Devil

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