“Faithless” based on Ingmar Bergman’s screenplay (2000) depicts the primordial ties between life and art. According to the film, it is because of the existence of serious, not entertaining art, art dedicated to truth of life, not to commercial success, demanding the distortion of this truth, that the life of humanity can continue – the stories of human fall and human wisdom outlive the broken destinies of concrete people. It is serious art that teaches us how to continue to live whatever horrifying situations engulf us, whatever man-made horrors we encounter, whatever disappointments we feel.

A classic triangle involving three not typical characters – an actress, an emancipated woman but without any hardness (we often notice in women who have made successful careers), and two very intelligent and artistic men (a musician of international reputation and a theater director), is developing through different phases and never resolves itself. The protagonists’ life is going through terrible moments when it cannot continue, when world itself, it seems, is collapsing in its foundation. A desperate rivalry between the two men involved finally creates especially unbearable (for the woman they are both intimate with – the main female character of the film, and for the viewers) moments when belief in life leave the heroine and suicidal abyss engulfs her.

The “story teller” (played by Erland Josephson with reference to Ingmar Bergman), impersonates the resurrecting influence art has on the human life.

Following the film, we see that sophisticated men are not less prone to be cruel in love, and their very cruelty and bouts of moral regression are more psychologically intricate and innovative, which makes their behavior in amorous and sexual competition even more horrifying.

The woman is the main victim in the fight between the men over her, and she has to find the additional emotional resources in herself to keep her decency and humanity in the impossible circumstances. The child of love (in the film the daughter of the musician and the woman seduced by the theater director) is not only the antidote to eternal fight as a part of love, but the agent of continuation when human relationships create emotional dead ends. The child of love is not only ally of art in the attempt to pacify life of love, but she is the muse of existential art.

Life can be made into a horror, when love turns into its opposite and it needs art to make life able to continue. The implication here is that the disappearance of art inside its commercialization makes life less and less possible.
“Faithless” is a unique work accumulating all Bergman’s experience with life, love and art and all Liv Ullmann’s sensitivity for desperate passions of human drama of amorous encounters.