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Persona (1966) More at IMDbPro »

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Persona -- This genre-blurring, minimalist masterpiece from Ingmar Bergman follows a young nurse and her patient, an actress who has mysteriously gone mute. The women retreat to a seaside cottage to aid the actress's rehabilitation, but the intimacy embroils them in a stranger, stronger bond. A classic of world cinema, Persona has long been considered one of the major works of 20th century art.


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Ingmar Bergman (story)
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Release Date:
16 March 1967 (USA) See more »
A new film by Ingmar Bergman See more »
A nurse is put in charge of an actress who can't talk and finds that the actress's persona is melding with hers. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for BAFTA Film Award. Another 8 wins & 1 nomination See more »
(133 articles)
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User Reviews:
An intriguing, beguiling and fascinating look into the state of individual existence, psychosis and shared experiences See more (161 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Bibi Andersson ... Alma

Liv Ullmann ... Elisabet Vogler
Margaretha Krook ... The Doctor

Gunnar Björnstrand ... Mr. Vogler
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jörgen Lindström ... Elisabet's Son (uncredited)

Directed by
Ingmar Bergman 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Ingmar Bergman  story and screenplay

Produced by
Ingmar Bergman .... producer
Original Music by
Lars Johan Werle 
Cinematography by
Sven Nykvist 
Film Editing by
Ulla Ryghe 
Production Design by
Bibi Lindström 
Costume Design by
Makeup Department
Tina Johansson .... assistant makeup artist
Börje Lundh .... makeup artist
Production Management
Lars-Owe Carlberg .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Lenn Hjortzberg .... assistant director
Bo Arne Vibenius .... assistant director (as Bo Vibenius)
Art Department
Karl-Arne Bergman .... property master (as Karl Arne Bergman)
Sound Department
Evald Andersson .... special sound effects
Lennart Engholm .... sound
Olle Jacobsson .... sound mixer
Per-Olof Pettersson .... sound (as P.O. Pettersson)
Camera and Electrical Department
Anders Bodin .... assistant camera
Lars Johnsson .... assistant camera
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eivor Kullberg .... costume assistant
Other crew
Kerstin Berg .... script supervisor
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
85 min | Argentina:80 min | USA:83 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:16 | Australia:M | Finland:K-15 (2004) | Finland:K-16 (cut) (1967) | France:Unrated | Netherlands:12 | Portugal:M/16 (Qualidade) | Singapore:NC-16 | South Korea:18 | Sweden:15 | UK:X (original rating) | UK:15 (re-rating) (2002) | USA:Not Rated | West Germany:12

Did You Know?

The name of Bibi Andersson's character "Alma" is Spanish and Portuguese for "soul".See more »
Sister Alma:Elisabet? Can I read you something from my book? Or am I disturbing you? It says here:"All the anxiety we bear with us, all our thwarted dreams, the incomprehensible cruelty, our fear of extinction, the painful insight into our earthly condition, have slowly eroded our hope of an other-wordly salvation. The howl of our faith and doubt against the darkness and silence, is one of the most awful proofs of our abandonment and our terrified, unuttered knowledge." Do you think it's like that?See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Hour of the Wolf (1968)See more »


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96 out of 139 people found the following review useful.
An intriguing, beguiling and fascinating look into the state of individual existence, psychosis and shared experiences, 15 February 2001
Author: Original Frazier44 ( from New York, NY, USA

persona n 1: an actor's portrayal of someone in a play; 2: Jungian psychology A personal facade one presents to the world, a public image is "as fragile as Humpty Dumpty"

personas pl: The role that one assumes or displays in public or society; one's public image or personality as distinguished from the inner self.

The above definitions help, at least a little, to understand or define the experience of Ingmar Bergmann's 1966 film "Persona".

"Persona" is an experience. And "Persona" IS experience. Indescribable not because it wants to be, but indescribable because it is. Who are we? Who do we want to be? Who are we comfortable being? Who do we need to be? And why? Some of the overlapping questions in this reviewer's mind during and after this engrossing and occasionally haunting work include, just how does this event and that event happen? Is it live, or is it memorex?? Most notably, Bergmann's skillful black-and-white film, which stars Bibi Andersson and Liv Ullmann, raises complex and interesting questions through the simplest images and minimum movement of camera and actor. The visual psychology is remarkable, powerful. Sven Nykvist's textured cinematography vividly brings the power (and subtlety) alive. Close-ups of the two lead actors' faces, and their symmetry, blend to make strong suggestions about what is transpiring between the two characters.

The two characters, Alma the Nurse (Andersson) and Elisabet Vogel (Ullmann), a stage actress, share very little. Alternately, they might share quite a lot. Much more perhaps than they want to. Elisabet gives new meaning to the expression "silence is golden", and that expression serves the film perfectly. "Persona" is "Fight Club" before "Fight Club" -- without the noise, dizzying effects and backgrounds of David Fincher's 1999 film. In "Persona", everything, from the very beginning to the very end, happen for a reason. The minimalist aspects, the editing, the continuous metaphor laden within dialogue, movement, time and space; the fact that the film is in Swedish language with English white-text subtitles, and with surrealism engulfing the viewer, makes Bergmann's "Persona" a pleasure personified (excuse the pun). Indeed, "Persona" is explicit in feel, mood, tone, dialogue, revelation and imagery.

Together, Bergmann and Nykvist produce beautiful artistry. There are moments of deconstruction within the film to distance its audience, and this is an artistic statement designed to formulate questions in the viewer's mind, rather than to baffle the viewer. The moments of deconstruction of narrative/medium at the beginning, middle and end of "Persona" are what one might call psychological, not "special", effects, as audiences today are accustomed to. The black-and-white film stock of "Persona" symbolizes the gray areas residing around, within and between Alma and Elisabet. Seeing this film in a theater is a treat, and although it has been available on video for many years, it is amazing to experience on a big screen. With the artistry and visuals working to perfection to ingeniously challenge the audience, one is inclined to almost forget the great performances of Anderson and Ullmann.

Cinema, when articulated through films like "Persona", is never better.

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Explain the film? callummurrayyyyy
Two real women HoratiusFlacc
Safe to watch on a plane? sbdurham
What Pauline Kael wrote in "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" jrhpax
What if Alma and Elizabeth are the same person ? ElNassim
Why I turned it off after 30 minutes evect
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