·  Drama

·  Sweden


The rite is about a touring varieté troupe called “Les Riens”, who are prosecuted and summoned to an inter-rogation because one of their numbers is considered grossly indecent. They are confronted with the judge’s accusations, which are extremely vague. The judge’s interrogation is harsh and relentless, it humiliates the artists, confuses them, shakes their self-confidence. Who are we? What is the meaning of our lives? – that is, our art?In a series of taut scenes with great dramatic power and tension Bergman lets the three artists reveal themselves to the spectator’s astonished gaze. In scenes of passion, blood and darkness, which are occasionally broken by gleams of hope and consolation, the author gives a vision of what it means to be an artist and of art’s sanctity and curse. In the rite that forms the finale of the film, the judge meets death. Art has avenged itself on reason. The artists, the abused ones, have spoken.