The Seventh Seal: A Classical Meditation on Life and Death

Ingmar Bergman the Seventh Seal review on Christian Movie Podcast Cinematic Doctrine Popcorn Theology
The Seventh Seal – A Classical Meditation on Life and Death

Melvin is joined again with Stephen McFerron, new contributor to Cinematic Doctrine (read him here!), to discuss a pivotal film in the art-house canon: The Seventh Seal!


  • (PATREON EXCLUSIVE) 50-minutes of Melvin and Stephen detailing their lifelong journey through movies, from the extremely good to the horrendously terrible, and everything in between (PATREON EXCLUSIVE) 
  • Being our second Criterion-themed episode in a row, Melvin and Stephen joyfully discuss the Criterion Collection. 
  • The Seventh Seal is a movie that is intrinsically focused on and explores facets of death.
  • The Seventh Seal’s tone is very challenging as it expertly switches between extremely clever comedy and absolutely petrifying horror. 
  • Stephen, “The Seventh Seal puts a weight on death that is actually… actually makes the viewer try to grapple with the idea that they’re going to die one day, too.” 
  • A unique, tender tragedy to The Seventh Seal is the lament regarding the want to believe in something, although not believing in it. Melvin feels this is adjacent to the lament unique to faith, that one believes something they cannot see, but yearns earnestly to see it true. 
  • Stephen shares what it is about the end of the movie that convinced him to watch it over and over. 
  • Talking about the pseudo-communion scene between Antonius Block, Jof, Mia, Jöns, and the Girl. 
  • Is there room for frustration and doubt in the Christian life? At the time of watching The Seventh Seal and recording for this episode, Melvin was in the midst of the Book of Job, so he turns there for some insight. 


playing chess with death the seventh seal

The Seventh Seal is Unrated. It features Max von Sydow, Gunnar Björnstrand, Bengt Ekero, Nils Poppe, Bibi Andersson, Inga Gill, Bertil Anderberg, Gunnel Lindblom, Åke Fridell, and Erik Strandmark. Directed by Ingmar Bergman. The Seventh Seal is currently on The Criterion Channel.

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Melvin Benson Cinematic Doctrine Christian Movie Podcast Host

Melvin Benson is the Founder, Editor-In-Chief, and Lead Host of Cinematic Doctrine. He’s written fiction and nonfiction for over a decade with short stories featured on the Creepypasta Wiki and Wattpad. His novelette Ethereal Temptation, a teen drama with a tinge of magical-realism, can be read for free here. His hope is to see King Jesus glorified as far as the east is from the west!

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