There follows a series of three films called the Silence of God trilogy, filled with a spiritual angst that was characteristic of the age, which could be interpreted as coming from anxieties that arise from sexual awareness in youth, the political uncertainties of the time, the destabilizing side affects of creating great art or other causes. They are masterful films, perhaps the greatest dramatic presentations of that time. But Bergman’s last major public presentation, a film adaptation of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, is perhaps his most important. It is the only moment in all of his work where the character experiences triumph in the end, and looking at the full body of work it becomes clear that the angst of the middle films were part of the spiritual and psychological struggle to find the character’s achievement in the last, and that those anxieties were allayed by the character’s spiritual victory in the last film. Other work would come, but much o fit seeking box-office cash and finding a generic audience.
Bergman’s rendition of The Magic Flute is a harbinger of the age here and pending. Taking his films out of their historical periods and viewing them as an expression of the artist’s own development and sensibility, his full body of work is a shaman’s journey which traverses ages, starting with The Seventh Seal at the very end of the Christian age and ending with The Magic Flute at the beginning of a new age.
Perhaps none surpasses Mozart’s The Magic Flute (1791) in knowledge of the masculine principle and the feminine, yang and yin, first performed at the high end of the Renaissance as the masculine principle and the Renaissance came to dominate the Earth Mother. In Mozart’s story three warriors guard the Lord of the
Tamino, the hero of the story, follows on a sacred love quest and in the process moves his allegiance from the Earth Mother to the Lords of the
Mozart’s opera marks history’s turning point. It was the time of revolution throughout the world. It marks the end of the ancient regimes and the monarchies of