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Through a Glass Darkly

Bergman’s first serious foray into examining family trauma and dysfunction follows a young family to remote Fårö Island. Family patriarch David (Gunnar Björnstrand) is an existential novelist whose emotionally fragile family’s hold on reality centers on their individual feelings of living in an empty universe. Daughter Karin (Harriet Andersson) is a schizophrenic recently released from the hospital and now under the care of her doctor husband Martin (Max Von Sydow). Karin’s personal demons prove to be shared (and repressed) by her family, and the Fårö Island backdrop provides a stark, ascetic stage for their spiral into madness. This landmark film—the first in the “Faith Trilogy” that included Winter Light and The Silence—solidified Bergman’s reputation as subversive provocateur, shattering sexual taboos and emotions while attempting to posit a new definition of God. Academy Award, Best Foreign Language Film, and nomination for Best Screenplay. In Swedish with English subtitles.

Genres: Drama

Other Films by Ingmar Bergman

Summer with Monika

Originally regarded as an erotic exploitation film, Monika enjoyed reappraisal as Bergman gained international recognition. Here he first articulates his recognizable psychological affinity with the ocean shore in a story of naïve desire and doomed romance. Shy, bourgeois Harry (Lars Ekborg) and the sultry, restless Monika (Harriet Andersson), escape their dreary lives in Stockholm and

The Virgin Spring

Bergman returns to the medieval Sweden of The Seventh Seal with this decidedly modern parable based on a 14th-century religious folk tale pitting Christian revenge against pagan magic. Töre (Max Von Sydow), a devoted father, leads a quiet, dignified family life. His love for his daughter Karin (Birgitta Pettersson) is affectionate but overbearing, and his

Smiles of A Summer Night

The inspiration for Woody Allen’s A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy and Steven Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, Bergman’s Smiles is an erotic, nostalgic jab at upper-class sexual repression and marital dysfunction. At a turn-of-the-century country estate, eight men and women—invited for a summer weekend—embark on frenzied rounds of sexual intrigue and deception as they variously

Autumn Sonata

Bergman’s only collaboration with Swedish film legend Ingrid Bergman, Autumn Sonata serves as a complimentary, yet more melancholy parallel to Wild Strawberries. Charlotte (Bergman), a professional musician, examines her life from the contemplative perch of old age. After having watched a lover die, she is reunited with her neglected and estranged daughter. Eva (Liv Ullmann)

Shame

Musicians Jan (Max Von Sydow) and Eva (Liv Ullmann), take refuge in a remote farmhouse hoping to escape the coming horrors of a civil war. There they face Bergman’s classic themes of personal isolation and fatalism, set in the context of political violence. Shame finds the director trying to make sense of postwar Europe in