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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 »
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User Reviews:
The Art Of Bergman 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:
Features The Silence (1963)See more »


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28 out of 41 people found the following review useful.
The Art Of Bergman, 14 January 2008
Author: Lechuguilla from Dallas, Texas

From its opening, seemingly random B&W images, Ingmar Bergman's "Persona" screams intellectualism. The film is cold, clinical, and abstract. It induces deep, philosophical questions that lack answers, or questions that provide for a multiplicity of emotionally unsatisfying answers.

About eight minutes into the film, the story begins. In a hospital, young Nurse Alma (Bibi Andersson) is assigned to care for Elisabeth Vogler (Liv Ullmann), an actress who, for no apparent reason, has ceased speaking. Concluding that there is nothing physically or mentally wrong with Elisabeth, the hospital exports her to a seaside cottage, where she is to be cared for by Nurse Alma. Most of the rest of the film is set at the cottage, where the two women get to know each other. But throughout, Elisabeth does not speak. She communicates only with facial expressions and body gestures.

For all of Elisabeth's silence, the film's script is remarkably talky. Nurse Alma talks in long monologues: asking, probing, recalling. She tries to build a relationship with Elisabeth, by vocalizing her own memories and emotional pains in life. Certainly, the film's curious narrative has a lot to "say" about the art, or rather the artificiality, of human communication.

The best element of the film is the artistic, B&W cinematography by Sven Nykvist. Lighting trends toward high contrast, with stark boundaries between light and darkness, a feature that contributes to the film's cold, intellectual tone. There are lots of close-up shots, even extreme close-ups, of the two women. The film's production design is ascetic, unadorned, austere. And this, too, enhances the analytic, abstract feel of the film.

Bergman conceived "Persona" while he was confined to a hospital. And I am inclined to think that the film is a cinematic expression of his own inward psychological struggles during that period of his life.

In other words, "Persona" communicates to us as much about Bergman's mindset, and his ideas of suffering and reality, as it does about any deep, universal questions in a post-modern world, although to some extent, the two dimensions intersect and overlap. Bergman is telling us that, ultimately, the film is not real. It is "nothing". It is an artificial human construct. That is, it is art, a perception that approximates, but does not replace, what we experience as reality.

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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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