The Touch (1971) - full transcript

A seemingly happy Swedish housewife and mother begins an adulterous affair with a foreign archaeologist who is working near her home. But he is an emotionally scarred man, a Jewish survivor from a concentration camp who found refuge in the U.S.,and, consequently, their relationship will be painfully difficult.


[door closes]

[in Swedish]
Dr. Holm.

[in Swedish]
Good afternoon, Mrs. Vergerus.

Your mother passed away
about 15 minutes ago.

It was all very peaceful.

- May I go in?
- Yes, of course.

[bells pealing in distance]

[bus approaches]

[bus departs]

[clock ticking]

[nurse, in Swedish]
What about her personal effects?


We'll fetch them tomorrow.

Thank you for all your help and care.

- Mother was...
- Oh, you're welcome.

But perhaps you'd like to have
the wedding rings now?



[footsteps approaching]



- [in English] Can I do something for you?
- [in English] Turn the light out, please.


Please leave me alone.

Oh, I'm sorry.

[no audible dialogue]

[woman, in English]
We work in the garden every spare minute.

[man, in English]
Our garden is actually our pride.

Oh, you must come here
in the spring or early summer.

- It's so beautiful then.
- Oh, thank you. Thank you very much.

We're both very fond of flowers and trees,
as you can see.


And in the winter, we dream about
what we're going to do next summer.

Ah, that's very nice.

Maria is also very interested. She has
a little corner of her own down there...

- [girl, in Swedish] Dad! Phone call!
- ...which she takes care of.

Excuse me.

[fountain trickling]

I can see why you like it here,
you and Andreas. It's beautiful.


This place was left to Andreas
by his parents.

Do you know, we couldn't dream of living
right in town or close to the hospital.

Andreas needs this relaxation.
He works much too hard.


The marriage is a happy one?

It's very happy.

We've been married for 15 years.

Then everything in the garden's lovely.

You know, it's very difficult
to talk about that kind of thing,

especially when you speak
a foreign language.

Please. I don't mean to be tactless.


[Andreas, in Swedish]
There's nothing to worry about.


- Thank you.
- Skål.

[Andreas] Dr. Brun agrees.

I want to tell you something.

The first time we met,
you were sitting in the cloakroom...

David, will you please excuse me.
It's a consultation. It's somewhat touchy.

I'll be with you in a second.
Make yourself comfortable.


You were sitting in the cloakroom
of the hospital crying.

I suppose it's hardly the thing
to tell you, but I fell in love with you.

[Maria, in Swedish]
Which wineglasses, Mama?

- [in Swedish] We're having white wine.
- Where are they?

- Second shelf to the right.
- Okay.

[door closes]


I didn't mean for you ever to know.

But as chance or whatever it is has
made us friends, I can't help telling you.

I'm in love with you, Karin.

I don't want you to worry or to be upset
with this confession of mine.

But I'm in love with you,
and I want you to know it.

Please have some more raspberries.

No, no. I couldn't eat anything more.
I'm stuffed.

It was delicious.
I must say Maria is a fantastic cook.

Tell us about the sculpture now, please.

Well, they stumbled on her while
restoring a church a few miles from here,

right near the dig where I'm working.

Eh, what church is it, actually?

The old medieval church of Hammar.
Do you know it?

Hammar, yes, we do. We know it.

At any rate, they were taking a wall down,

and about halfway through
discovered a cavity in it.

So they proceeded very carefully
to continue taking the wall down.

Shall we have coffee in there?
Would you like?

there in the darkness of the cavity,

they began to faintly see something.

A woman's face.

A magnificent, well-preserved wooden
sculpture representing the Holy Virgin.

Now as far as we know,
this is something extremely rare.

But the curious thing is,
how did it come to your country?

How did it get to this remote church?

- Would you like some whiskey?
- Please.

- Some ice with it?
- No.

[Andreas] And here is... This is, uh...

One day, Anders fell overboard.

He's soaking wet.
It doesn't show really, but...

- [projector clicking]
- Um, I think there is another...

No. This is not it either...

I have a beautiful orchid somewhere, uh,
which is called...

No. No. Who has been using these slides?

Oh, this is it!

Oh, this is one of my favorites.
It's an orchid.

It's called Ophrys insectifera.

Um, eh, because it looks like an insect,
like a fly.

- Uh, it attracts the interest of the fly.
- Andreas.

are you sure David is interested in...

Oh, no. No, no.
I am enjoying these slides, Andreas.

I am fascinated by the flowers.
They're wonderful.

Well-Well, uh...

Well, there are a few other pictures.
I think this...

No. Well, this is a donkey.

It's, uh... It's Anders's donkey.
It's called Johnny.

It-It died after two weeks.

Uh, and this is my mother-in-law.

Uh, she's also... dead.
Uh, they're... Oh, this!

- Haven't you a picture of your wife nude?
- In the nude?

I would like to see
a picture of Karin nude.

[Andreas laughs] No. I...

I'm sorry, David.
I have to disappoint you there.

You'll have to content yourself
with my orchids.

- I'll drive you home, David.
- No, no, no, no. I'm-I'm fine.

Wait a minute. So...
Well, do you want me to call a taxi?

- No, no. I can manage, Andreas. Thank you.
- All right.

Thank you very much.

- Don't worry. There won't be a scandal.
- Mm-hmm.

- [Andreas laughs]
- Bye.

- [Andreas] I'd love to see the church.
- [David] Yeah.

[door closes]

- [clock chiming]
- [vehicle departs]

- [in Swedish] Are you all done?
- Mm-hmm.

It's cold.

[dishes clattering]

[Karin] I'll go upstairs
and say good night to Maria.

[Andreas] Mm-mmm.

- We ought to have a place for that.
- [Andreas] Yes.

- [Andreas] I'll take Bobby out for a walk.
- [Karin] Yes, you do that.

Bobby, come on.

- [snaps fingers]
- [dog panting]

I'm glad he didn't stay too long.

When are you due
at the hospital tomorrow?

At 7:00. I have surgery at 7:30.

- How did you like him?
- A damned nice fellow, I thought.

But he drank a bit too much, didn't he?

Did he? I didn't notice, actually.

[laughs] Foreigners, you know.

How did you actually meet?

Jakobi at the museum called me
and asked me to take care of him.

He had a kidney stone attack.

Is that right?


I'm too tired to read tonight, I think.

No, please, no reading tonight.


[Karin] Hold me.


[Andreas sighs]

You know, already during dessert,
I decided to seduce you tonight.

- Mm-hmm?
- But now I'm just too sleepy.


It's all right. I'm sleepy, too.

- Then we'll go to sleep.
- Mmm.

- Good night.
- Mmm.


- Give me your hand.
- Mmm.


It's good to hold your hand.


[Karin sighs]


Did you take your pill?

It doesn't matter tonight, does it?
Don't worry.

[laughs] "Don't worry"?

- [stereo: up-tempo]
- [soundtrack: women vocalizing]

[Karin blusters]

[music volume increases]

[vocalizing continues]

Good morning, sleepyhead.


There you are.

[all laughing]

- Bye then.
- Bye.

- Bye.
- Bye, Dad.

See you at dinner.
You all have a nice day.

Let's get a move on.

Take the apple.

Oh, I forgot.


[bell tolling in distance]


Wait a minute.

[tolling continues]

Karin. Come have a look.

- Can you see her?
- Yes.

Can you see the smile?

[Karin] Yes, I do.

Oh, no.

[sets parking brake]

When do I see you again?

Tomorrow is Sunday.

Uh, Monday we have the housecleaning,

but on Tuesday
I can come to your place at 2:30.

[engine starts]

[car departs]

[in Swedish] Yes. I think so, too.

But the symptoms are kind of vague,
don't you think?

Why don't you take one more X-ray?

If only she wasn't so damned hysterical.
It might be just nerves.

We might bring her in for observation.

You send her right in.
I'll reserve a bed at the hospital.

- [clock chiming]
- Hi.

Let's have lunch together.

Yes. Come up to my office, won't you?

I'll be there from... 12:30 on.

Right. Bye.

- Did you have a nice drive?
- Yes, it was very interesting.


You might have asked David home
for dinner.

I did ask, but he didn't want to.

It's Vergerus.

Let me speak to Sister Gunnel
in Ward 3, please.

Yes. I'll wait.

I'll go to the kitchen and help Maria.

- She's going out with some friends tonight.
- Mind that she's home by midnight.

Yes. We'll talk about that.

Yes. Have her call me
as soon as she's free, will you?

I'll be home for another 20 minutes.
Or she can call my secretary.

Thank you.

I need to tell you something.

Really? That sounds intriguing.

I don't think I'll be wanting
a housemaid after all.

Much better to do everything yourself.
Less fuss that way.

Is that what you wanted to tell me?

Yes. Why?

You started off so seriously.
I thought it was something important.



Bye, then.


[soundtrack: women vocalizing, up-tempo]

- [vacuum whirring]
- [vocalizing continues]

[vocalizing continues]

[sucks in breath] No.

[sharp exhale]

[doorbell rings]

- Ooh!
- [David laughs] Oh.

Hello. I'm sorry I'm late.

Oh, no, no, no, no. I have, uh... It's fine.
Uh, there's a lot of things that...

- Can I come in?
- Oh, of course. Come on.

Thank you.

I'm really sorry,
because it was difficult finding the way.

- You know, this whole part of town is...
- It's very complicated.

It's one-way streets
all the way from where we are.

- Yeah.
- I'm very sorry.

Oh, no, no, no. I have a lot of things
that I had to look at.

Oh, I'm sorry. It's, uh... I have them
when I drive. They're very ugly.

- No, no. Come inside, please.
- Okay.


Oh, poor flowers.

I think I'll cut them
and see if they'll revive.

- Where's your kitchen?
- Oh, it's inside here.

Thank you.

- Do you have a knife?
- Oh, sure.

- Here.
- Thank you.

How did you find this place?

A professor at the university was
taking his leave of absence for a few...

- A friend.
- Hmm.

It's a terrible place. Very depressing.
Don't you think?

- Well, uh, I hadn't noticed.
- [faucet runs]

It's, uh...
It's nicer than staying in a hotel.

- Yeah. Especially now.
- Yeah.

Oh, would you like some, uh, sherry?

What I would like is a cup of tea.
Do you have any tea?

- I'll see if I can find some.
- I, um...

I-I think I'm out of tea,
but I'll just run down and pick some up.

It won't take too long.

Oh, no! Don't do that. Please.

Let's have your sherry.




- You nervous, David?
- Uh, yes, I'm nervous.

My pulse must be 690. Aren't you nervous?

Well, I-I'm almost fainting.

- Skål.
- Skål.

That looks very warm and comfortable.

[laughs] Thank you. You must excuse.

It's an old sweater, and I'm...
I'm having pants on.

I wanted to wear something very beautiful
when I came to you for the first time,

but it suddenly turned so cold.

I noticed some flakes of snow in the rain.

- Yes. I hate it when it's cold.
- Yeah.

It's a terrible climate here on the coast.

Spring is always late.

But I understand
this has been quite a mild autumn.

Oh, no. No more for me, thank you.
It's already gone to my head.

- What should we talk about now?
- [laughs]

What should we do now?

Shall we take our clothes off
and go to bed and see what happens?


But we must draw the curtains.
I'm very shy.

Oh, so am I.


No, wait.

Wait a little.

I want you to look at me first.

I'm 34.

You can see that in my face,
especially around the eyes.

I have... I have a scar here on my stomach.

I've borne two children,
and Anders was very big, you know.

My breasts were nicer before.



I'm not a very experienced mistress.

Andreas and I
always had it good together in bed,

even if it wasn't so passionate.

My legs are on the short side.

And my bottom is a bit too big.

[deep breath] It used to worry me a lot
when I was a girl.

You don't... You...

You don't have to act in any special way
in order to satisfy me,

if you see what I mean.

I've no idea why I've come here to you
today, or why I'm going to bed with you.

I don't even know if I'm in love with you.

Forgive me.
Forgive me for saying all that.

Oh, I understand.

I suppose it's not a very good way
to start an affair.

You see, I've never...

I've never been in this situation before.

David, forgive me for talking so much.

I just wanted you to know
with whom you're going to bed.

Maybe it doesn't mean anything much
to you, maybe I'm making a lot of fuss,

but this little affair, well,

for me it isn't a little affair.

Please, come into bed.
I feel terribly cold.

Warm me up.

I'm afraid I can't today.

Oh. My long speech frightened you.

It doesn't matter.

It's good as it is,
as long as we're here with one another.

[bells chiming in distance]

- David?
- Mm-hmm?

I think I must go now.

Oh, no.

I promised to meet Andreas at the airport.
He's been to Stockholm today.

- Mmm.
- Are you disappointed with me?

Oh, no. [laughs]

- No, no, no, no, no, no.
- [chuckles]

[doorbell rings]

My keys and my gloves.

Oh, no. Not now.

Not now. I'll... I'll come back another day.


I'll call you tomorrow morning.

[door closes]

[vehicle engine starts]

[door closes]

[phone rings]


Hello. It's Karin.

Hello. How-How are you?

I'm fine. Have you been waiting?

Uh, incidentally, I'm not quite sober.

I, uh...

I took a sleeping pill, but, uh...

[sighs] I couldn't fall asleep,
so I had a drink

and another pill.


No, if you want to sleep,
I can call you a little later.

[chuckles] No, no, no.

You mustn't mind my being a bit... stoned.

I'm not in the habit of it.

I just didn't think you'd ring. I didn't
think... I didn't think we'd meet again.

But why do you think that?
I told you I was going to ring.



It's funny.

There's something important
I'd like to tell you.

- Something I've never told anyone.
- Yes?

What is it, David?

I'd like to tell you.

But I have no words.
I'm mentally illiterate.

Can't you come to me now, this instant?
I'm longing for you.

What are you doing?


What, are you going to make the beds
and tidy up? What are you going to do?

You're going out to do the shopping
and buy a roast for dinner?

Or what are you going to do?
Are you a domestic service agency?

Or what the hell are you?

Can't you come to me now? Can't you come?

But I can't come now.

David, you must understand.
I can't just drop everything.

David, are you there?

Why don't you answer?


Well, I'll come then.

[doorbell rings]

[ringing continues]

[power saw buzzing, muffled]

David, I can't stay very long.

[Karin gasping]


[shouting, muttering]


What is it? What just happened?

I don't understand you. Please.

Don't you think you're very childish now?


[David grunts]

[in Swedish] No! No!

I can take my clothes off myself.

[David gasping, moaning]

Don't look at me!

[shouts, mutters]

[shouts, mutters]

[shouts, mutters]

[gasping] Oh! Oh!

[in Swedish] I called you several times
this morning, but there was no answer.

No. I was up in the attic,
cleaning it out a bit.

We have all these old clothes
hanging there.

I thought I'd sort them out
and send them to the Red Cross.

- Good idea.
- I thought so.

Is something bothering you?


My period is starting,
and that always makes me moody.

Nothing else?

No, I don't think so.

[speaking French haltingly]


[continues in French]


[bells chiming in distance]

Did I fall asleep?

Yes, you did.


- Sleep well.
- Mmm.

[Karin sighs]

[bell tolls]


Why haven't you been in touch?

I tried to call you several times.

I even went and rang your doorbell.

I could hear you were in,
but you didn't open.

Come with me.

Why do you go on like this?

I can't bear your silence.

That's the only thing I can't bear.

Why do you go on like this?

If only you'll have patience with me.

I'll have all the patience in the world.

I've no demands.
Don't think I'm making any demands.


I don't know what to do
with all these churned-up feelings.

David, as long as we don't
lose each other. That's all that matters.

That's why it's so important
that you don't leave me outside.

I'd be so powerless then.

All my relatives are dead.

We lived in Berlin, just outside the city.

My father was...
head of a private medical clinic.


I was four when he suddenly sent Mother
and me and my sister to New York.

Six months later, we lost contact
with our relatives in Germany.

They were wiped out in various camps.

After Mother died,
I went to Israel where I was trained.

I think I keep the album
for Mother's sake.

Here she is as a young girl, just engaged.

- Don't you think she's pretty?
- Very.

Sometimes it feels so lonely
without Mother.

Isn't it absurd? After all, I'm grown up.

[in English, with German accent] Then,
of course, the very special surprise

today at the end of the congress

that we had the chance to meet
your charming wife, Karin.

And thank you
for giving this wonderful luncheon.

Thank you, both of you.
And, as you do in Sweden...

[in Swedish] Thank you very much.

[in Swedish]
Thank you.

Skål. Skål.

I hope you all will be back very soon.

[man] Thank you. Surely.

As guests, not as patients.

[laughing, chattering]

Would you like some coffee?
We'll have it in here.

[all chattering]

[all chattering]

[no audible dialogue]

[no audible dialogue]

[no audible dialogue]

[bell tolling]


Where have you been?
I've been waiting for you.

Oh, no, you can't be.
I told you I was going to be late.

You said you'd be here at three o'clock
and now it's 4:00.

No, I didn't say that.
I remember very well I didn't say a time.

I knew I couldn't be punctual.

Oh, it's dark in here.

How could I know how long
the lunch was going to last?

I didn't say a time.

You were so persistent, I promised
to come anyway, even if it was only...

- [door slams]
- ...for... [exclaims] a short while.

Am I right?

You've been smoking?

Mm-hmm. I have.

But we promised each other to give it up.

But I couldn't resist
after all that good food.

I smoked five cigarettes. [chuckles]

- Oh, aren't you cross now?
- Oh, no, no, no, no.

Just we had an agreement.
And you've been drinking a lot too.


I think I'm a little tipsy.

Oh, I-I really am tipsy.

I'm almost drunk.

Come. Come and help me.

I'm in a hurry.

Come and give me a kiss
and say you forgive me.

- [David grunts]
- [objects clattering]

No one has ever struck me.

I hate it when you're like that!

I was merely gay.

You're not sober, and you've been smoking!

Andreas wondered very much
why I was in such a hurry.

It was very difficult for me
to come here today,

but I came because you kept on at me.

I hate that goddamn Andreas,
that fucking hypocritical idiot!

- He can go to hell!
- Stop shouting!

You're crazy.


You do look angry.

Get out.

Go to hell.

Go back to your mediocre bourgeois.
That's where you belong.

There's no point
in our going on like this.

Do you hear what I say?
Go to hell and leave me in peace.

You're being very silly.

Poor David.

Poor David, poor Karin.
What a hard time we're going to have.

It's best for us to break it off now,

If it only were that simple.

If you want me for anything, you can
call me tomorrow morning as usual.

[footsteps departing]

[door opens]


[door closes]

[in Swedish] How was Maria?

She was out dancing, you know.

But she had this terrible cold.

- No, not tonight.
- Indeed?

- When was Maria ever sick on a Saturday?
- [chuckles]

- Hi.
- Hi.

- How's the movie?
- Not very good.

- What do you mean?
- Just a lot of romance.

- [Karin laughs]
- [Andreas] Aha.

[Karin] Are you hungry?

I already had a sandwich in the kitchen.
Good night.

Good night.
I'll be up later to turn the lights out.

Yes. All right.

- Good night. Sleep well.
- [clock chiming]

What's that sore on your lip?

I don't know.

I only just noticed it myself.

- Could it maybe be vitamin deficiency?
- No. I hardly think so.

I'm attending a conference in Rome
in April. Do you want to come?

I don't think I can.
I need to get someone to watch the kids.

That's already been taken care of.

I phoned Eva today.

She said it would suit her fine.

She's even looking forward to it.

She's alone after the divorce, poor thing.

Sure. We'll talk about it.

You don't sound overly enthusiastic.

It's just my way, you know. I'm sorry.

Sure, I know you.

[yawning] Now, let's go to bed.

You'll beat me anyway.

I'll just take Bobby for a walk.

[bells chiming in distance]


Come here, will you?

[Karin laughing]

[Karin] Oh, this is a Swedish poet
whom I love very much.

I think he's the best.

I think I read him in Swedish first,

and then I translate so you can just hear.

[reading in Swedish]

[in English] "Wake me to sleep in you...

wake my words to you...

light my dead stars nearer you."

[reading in Swedish]

[in English] "Dream me out of my world...

home to the"... Mm.

"to the home of the flames.

Give birth to me, leave me.

Kill me nearer you."

[reading in Swedish]

[in English] "Nearer me to you,

nearer the"... Mm.

What do you call fireplace?

Something they had in...

long ago.

- A hearth?
- Hearth.

"Nearer the hearth of birth.

Take me warmer, take me nearer you."

[choir singing: sacred]

When do you leave?

Tomorrow, early.

When will you be back?

About six months... September, October.

How long do you stay then?

About the same amount of time.

What will you do
when you get back to London?

Oh, I'll prepare a series of lectures,
18 of them.

In the summer.

Yes, in the summer.

[Karin sighs]

We've been together for... six months now.

It's going to be very hard.

It's going to be very hard.

[choir continues]


[long exhale]

What's that music?

I think they're practicing something

for the reconsecration of the church
on Sunday.

I think it's better
we say good-bye here and now.

Andreas wanted you to come to dinner,
but I said I thought you were engaged.

It's much better we say good-bye now
when we're by ourselves.

[chorus: male singers]
♪ Alleluia ♪

[chorus: female singers]
♪ Alleluia... ♪

To think it should be so hard.

I don't think we realize
how painful it's going to be later.

I must go.


Yes, I'll go.

I must go now.

I must go before it gets too difficult.

[choir continues]

[engine starts, car departs]

David, dearest.

I didn't know it was going to hurt so much
being without you.

Karin, my darling Karin.

It feels odd to be back in the world.

It's getting cold again.

Almost like autumn
although we're well into May.

We've all had bad colds.
I was absolutely streaming.

Which was a good thing, really,
since I cried so often to myself.

I mean, I could go round legitimately
with a red nose and red-rimmed eyes.

We've been separated now for six weeks,

and we've written to each other
nearly every day.

And I,
who am such a terrible letter writer.

David, dearest friend I have in the world...

can you forgive me
for not writing to you for several days?

We've had spring cleaning.

I suppose you think
it's a very trivial reason not to write.

But the house has been full of people.

I haven't had a minute to myself
from morning till night.

One day, I stopped dead in my tracks

and said aloud to myself...

"We're painfully united."

I spend a lot of time consoling Maria,

who's had her first broken romance.

The heartache and the tears.

Karin dearest,

I'm now in the south of France at a sort
of summer congress for archaeologists.

It's very hot.

Dear, dear David.

We're back from the country.
I must say I'm glad.

Karin, just a quick note.

I've been able to rent our dingy,
ugly old apartment.

Am arriving Thursday by air.

I'll ring you Friday morning
at eight o'clock.

Eight o'clock, Friday morning.

- [footsteps]
- [phone rings]


[in Swedish]
Imagine, I forgot my briefcase.

It's the first time, surely.

- Will you be on time?
- Oh, yes.

- Any tea left?
- I don't know.

It's still hot.
Will you have a cup with me?

No, thanks. I already had coffee.

What are you doing, dear?

I'm just paying some bills.

You're not in any hurry today?

It's not even half past.

[clock ticking]

Drive carefully.


[door closes]

[car door closes]

[engine starts]

[car departs]

[line clicks, ringing]


At last! I thought I'd never get through.

Look, I'm-I'm in a café round the corner.

I didn't know
that that goddamn phone was cut off.

How are you?

Fine. Just fine.

Well, here I am anyway.

Maybe we could meet?

Not at all a bad idea.
What about this afternoon?

I have to meet a couple of idiots
at two o'clock, but I'll be free by 4:30.

Can't you make it earlier?

It'll be so short.
I must be home for dinner.

Okay, but...

Fine. Or let's wait till tomorrow.

No! No, I didn't mean that.

- What are you doing now?
- Now?

I just switched on the washing machine.

And I have to see Anders's teacher
at ten o'clock.

Come now.

But I can't. It's impossible.
I can't just drop everything.

Oh, come just for a little while.
Then we can meet properly tomorrow.

Okay, I'll come then. I'll come.

Look, it's filthy as hell
up in the apartment.

I don't think anybody has cleaned there
for six months.

It doesn't matter. I'll come right now.

[clock chiming]


[sharp exhale]

You look thinner.

I've been ill recently,

but I'm all better now.

I haven't smoked one cigarette
since you left.

That's why you're even more pretty now.

I put on weight. That's not good at all.



[Karin] Mmm.

It's worth everything.

I should be home by 4:00 today.

All right.

- Would you like some tea then?
- Yes, please.



[doorbell rings]

[David] Damn it.
It's a delivery from the museum.

I'll just be a sec.

[Andreas] May I come in?

Can we have a light on?

Do you mind if I sit down for a moment?
I won't be long.

I received some letters.

It's a small town, you see.

Everyone knows everyone else.

Some people are so thoughtful.


Anonymous of course.

Naturally, I wouldn't take any notice
of those poison pens

if I didn't believe
that they were telling the truth.

Well, I don't really know why I came here.

It was on the spur of the moment, I admit.

But I felt that it was necessary.

I have nothing to say.

Karin says she feels a strong loyalty
to you and your marriage.

I think you ought to be grateful
for that loyalty

and hope that it'll survive
this affair of Karin's and mine.

I think you better talk to Karin.

I think you should take advantage
of her loyalty.

I think you should make yourself touching
and helpless...

talk about the children,

about all your years together.

You have the upper hand, Andreas.
Don't worry.

I didn't come here to talk about myself,
David. I'm quite sure of that.

I think I came here
to talk to you about Karin because I...

But it may be a rationalization.

That's all so very touching.

What are you going to tell me about Karin
that I don't already know?

Go now, Andreas.

You've humiliated us both long enough
with this ridiculous visit.

I don't understand
why you're so aggressive, David.

I like you.

I liked you at the beginning already

when I took care of you
after your attempted suicide.

It wasn't an attempted suicide.

It was an accident
with that ridiculous gas stove.

I don't think my memory's at fault.

During our conversation
on that Tuesday night,

you yourself described your accident
as an attempted suicide.

Am I wrong?

No, but we were never to speak of it.

That's right. I'm sorry.

- [David scoffs]
- Forgive me.

I didn't mean to be offensive
or indiscreet.

Have you anything else,
anything else you want to say?


I don't believe that habit,
marriage, and children

are any firm shield
against the outside world.

- [scoffs] The outside world.
- Call it whatever you like.

It was stupid of me to come.

If you think that I'm putting pressure
on Karin, you're wrong.

I don't intend
any emotional blackmail either.

As a matter of fact,
I don't intend to do anything.

She has to make up her mind for herself.

That will be difficult enough.

She hates any form of decision.

[door opens, closes]

Wasn't that touching?

That was just too goddamn touching.

That was touching as hell.

Do you think he knew I was here?

Of course he knew. He's not such a fool.

Will you call me tomorrow as usual?

- I don't know.
- Do as you like.

[sucks in breath]

[sharp exhale]

[in Swedish] Are you working?


I'm just sitting, really.


Let's go for a walk.



[sobbing continues]

[tapping on window]


God dag, Maria. How are you?

I thought that green coat was very nice.
Why didn't you get it?

Do you mind if I talk to your mother
for a minute?

We can't just walk away like this.

I know. I can see that. I must see you.

- When can we meet and talk?
- I don't know.

We can meet at the church tomorrow
at three o'clock.

Please, let me go now.

[bell tolling in distance]

[door opens]

I'm sorry I'm late.
This weather is terrible for my car.

- It stalls, and it's very cold outside.
- It's all right.

Yesterday was a funny experience, hey?

- Mm. I don't know if it was so funny.
- Hmm.

- Have you heard about the Madonna?
- No.

Something peculiar's happened,
something no one can explain.

Before she was walled up, she was
the home of some insect not known today.

The larvae have been sleeping inside there
in the darkness for 500 years.

And now they've awakened.

And they're eating the image away
from within.

Here on the child.

Oh, a whole nest of them hibernating.

They're not sure whether she can be saved.

Actually, they're beautiful.

At any rate,
as beautiful as the image itself.

Don't you think, Karin?

What is it, Karin?

I've lost my... footing... whatever it is.

I used to be fairly secure in my world,

and now I'm insecure at home,
insecure with you.

That's too bad.

Yes, it is.

I can't be without you.

Everything circles around you.

You're there the whole time.

You're like my newborn child.


I understand how you think.

I understand what it is that torments you.

I understand why you're forcing me,
and it makes me furious.

But it only binds me to you
all the more firmly.

I wonder if something is wrong with me
because I feel like this.

Yes. Laugh if you want.

But let me tell you something.

I know that you are going to leave me.

I can see it quite clearly,

and it's getting closer and closer.

I know that you're fond of me
almost the same way as I'm fond of you.

But even so, you're going to leave me.

And I know why.

You hate yourself.
Therefore, you hate me somewhere.

I'm trying to reach you.

I'm trying the whole time to reach you,

I feel that you're getting further
and further away from me, and...

I just want to scream and weep
because I know you're going to leave me.

It is hard to live two lives.

It's hard to live with two men.

Sometimes I find it almost impossible.

But I know it can be done.
I even think Andreas would accept it.

It is possible to live two lives,

maybe slowly combine them
into one wise and good life

that could benefit other people
and make them happy.

But there's no living
with your self-hatred, David.

I can't do anything about it
however much I like you,

however much I try.

Do you understand?

[shivers] It's cold.

Can't you put your arms around me?


Say something, something kind.

Say that you like me all the same.

[sharp inhale]

Be angry with me, if you like,
as long as you don't leave me.

I don't know what to do
if I haven't got you.

Let's go.

- [dogs barking in distance]
- [crows cawing]




Karin, forgive me.

Forgive me.

Forgive me, Karin.

We're with each other now, aren't we?

Now at this moment.


Now we're with each other.

[bell tolling]

[clock ticking]

[line clicks, ringing]

[power saw buzzing, muffled]

[in Swedish] No.

[groans, whimpers]




[whimpering, gasping]



[no audible dialogue]

[water pours]

- [exhales]
- [glass shatters]


[in Swedish]
The professor will be here any moment.

I see.

Then I'll wait.

- Please excuse me.
- But of course.

[typing resumes]


[Andreas] Is the letter done?

Just one moment, please.

Please ask Jakobi to come this afternoon

Then we can talk undisturbed.

Besides, I'm tired as hell.

Jakobi at 5:30. Will that do?

That will be just fine.


Excuse me if I lie down while we talk.

I've got a splitting headache.

All right. What was it you wanted to say?

Something unpleasant, no doubt.

David has gone.

I must go to London and try to find him.

I must speak to him.
He has to tell me why he left me.

Please try to understand.

If you go, you needn't come back again.

But if you stay
and try to get rid of your panic,

I promise to help you in every way.

I'd only be gone for a few days.

If you go, there's no way back.
Do you hear? It's that simple.

Just one day, Andreas. I beg you.

Please be fair.

You should talk about fairness!

Don't come crying for consideration
or sympathy.

Take responsibility. Own up to it.

For once, Karin, make a decision
and accept the consequences.

This drama has been going on
for almost two years. Now I'm tired.

I don't want to be in another act.

Suffering must have an end.
It can't go indefinitely.

I don't want to be poisoned
by hatred and spite.

I don't want to hate you.

I have to go.

Will you tell the children? Or shall I?

It's better that you do it.

I'd prefer that you leave now.

[woman on PA, indistinct]

What are you going to do in England?

I don't know.

I'm going to see some people.

What sort of people?

- Friends?
- Yes.

I'm here as a tourist.

A tourist visit.

Why didn't you say so to start with?

[bells pealing in distance]

Does David live here?

Yes, he lives here, but he's not at home.

- Can I wait for him?
- I don't think he'll be home today.

Won't you come in
and sit down for a while?

Thank you.

My name's Sara.

You're Karin. I know.

It's a bit strange in here
with the furniture all gone.

We're moving.

You'd like some brandy?

Yes, thank you.

Are you his wife?


I'm his sister.

I keep house for him.

He told me he didn't have any relations.

Did he?

Would you like something to eat?

I have some sausage
or some cheese in the house.

I could make you some sandwiches
if you're hungry.

No, thank you. Thank you.
It's very kind of you, but I'm not hungry.

Are you going to have a baby?

- Is it David's child or your husband's?
- Does it matter?

Why are you pregnant?

I don't know.

- Seems funny, doesn't it?
- Not to me.

You're looking at my hands, aren't you?

It's muscular paralysis. Atrophy.

It runs in the family. Apparently,
it can't be explained scientifically.

David suffers from it too.

Well, what shall we do now?

Shall we talk about David?

- Why don't we talk about you?
- I don't think that can interest you.

- You're his sister.
- Yes.


We have everything in common.

We're inseparable.
He says he's never going to leave me.

You understand?


[deep breath]

I think I'll go now.

You'll come back tomorrow?


I don't think I'll come back.

[exhales, sighs]


[faucet runs]

[bells chiming in distance]




Why do we have to meet
at this idiotic place?

Let's go to my hotel.

No. I can only spare five minutes.

I'm on my way to my Italian lesson.
It starts at four o'clock.

I think we can meet here
without anyone seeing us.

I've had enough scandal.

It never occurred to you
that this is a small town.

Nor to you.

I thought of it. I didn't care.

- Are you feeling well?
- I feel...

Can we sit down somewhere?

You wanted to talk to me.

[mimicking accent]
"You wanted to talk to me." [chuckles]

Just what do you expect?

You suddenly turn up God knows where from.

You call me up in the middle of dinner
and say you must talk to me.

It's terribly important.
I must come to your hotel at once.

You must be out of your mind!

You've no right to come here
and make any demands.

I have nothing more to talk about.

Good-bye, David.

[footsteps departing]

[out of breath]

I thought I could live without you.

I thought it would be possible.

I thought I could go back to my old life.

I can't.

It hurts, physically, being without you.

It's like a constant ache.

Whatever I do, I can't get away from it.

I didn't know it was gonna be like this.

I didn't know
I was so terribly tied to you.

I thought I'd get over it.

When I left you,

it was to be spared more feelings,

tears, pain.

I wanted to make a clean break.

I wanted to have peace at last.

But it didn't turn out that way.

It only got worse.

I can't live without you.

It sounds so utterly ridiculous to hear
myself say I can't live without you.

But it's true.
I can't express it any better way.

Everything's changed, Karin.

I don't know what it is.
I can't understand it.

I'm no longer the same person.

I think and feel and react differently.

In the old days, before I met you,
I could live without living.

I didn't care. Nothing mattered anyway.

Don't say anything more.

It just makes it more difficult.


Listen now, Karin.

I've been offered an associate
professorship at the University of Aarhus.

We could live a settled life
on your conditions.

You can bring the children.
Everything will be the way you want.

You'll have your security.

- David...
- No, no, no.

Karin. Karin.

Look, I'm-I'm not going to rush you.

I don't mean that you have to make up
your mind right away, this moment.

I can wait. I'll be patient.

Please let me go now.

There's no point in this.

We have nothing more to talk about.

You can't just leave me like this.

Please don't go.

Poor David.

I love you so much.

It's not true.

That's true. That's the truth.

No one has done me so much good as you.

No one has done me so much harm as you.

Even so, I'm not coming with you.

You must have strong reasons...
if it's as you say.

For me, they are strong reasons.

For you,
they're perhaps no reasons at all.

I feel it's my duty to stay where I am.

I don't know.

I feel it's my duty to stay here,
so I will.

I know you're lying.
You don't mean what you say.

I know the real reasons.

They're so goddamn rotten
and trivial and cowardly

I can't be bothered to go into them!

Can't you see the pattern, Karin?

I know you're lying.

I know you're lying! Do you hear?

[crows cawing]