The most powerful emotion
that I remember from this film is hatred
. The healthy sisters hate the dying sister because they perceive her to have been first in their parents' affections, first in happiness, and now first to be free of what (through the prism
of their own suffering) hateful life
Agnes hates her death, the putridity and ugliness of it, the and submissive and almost dementedly loyal Anna, her sisters, malicious, capricious and full of life.
But worse of all is the profound, poisonous hatred between Maria and Karin. On Karin's side the emotion is deep, burning and complex - she longs for her sister's love to an almost erotic degree yet recoils from her constant cruelty, the mind games that she plays and the callous pleasure she takes in torturing her husband, her family and all who come within the scope of her emotional influence.
Maria is cold loathing personified. She hasn't a genuinely positive feeling in her body. She is reflective - one can only bounce one's own feelings from her, any meaninglful communication on an emotional level is inconceivable. She is ruthless and vicious while at the same time being captivating, charming, beautiful, and the closest to being tolerably content of any of the characters of the film. Her character is chilling, and played with chilling litheness by a radiant Ullman. She scared the hell out of me.