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Persona (1966) More at IMDbPro »

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Ingmar Bergman (story)
View company contact information for Persona on IMDbPro.
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 »
(124 articles)
Video Interview: Olivier Assayas – Clouds of Sils Maria
 (From ioncinema. 6 April 2015, 9:00 AM, PDT)

Ingmar Bergman A Legend By Time
 (From Cinelinx. 23 February 2015, 10:52 AM, PST)

Watch: “Mirrors of Bergman” by :: kogonada
 (From Filmmaker Magazine. 12 February 2015, 1:39 PM, PST)

User Reviews:
Persona is an inclination to have an ideal personality. See more (157 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?

According to himself, Ingmar Bergman fell in love with Liv Ullmann during the making of the movie.See more »
Sister Alma:Anaesthetise me... throw me away! No, I can't, I can't take any more! Leave me alone! It's shame, it's all shame! Leave me alone! I'm cold and rotten and indifferent! It's all just lies and imitation, all of it!See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Ulysses' Gaze (1995)See more »


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28 out of 41 people found the following review useful.
Persona is an inclination to have an ideal personality., 23 December 2008
Author: shaham from Sweden

Persona is a commendable movie by Bergman. It's not a simple movie to be seen just one time. This film should be commented in many aspects: cinematography, acting, directing, and lightening besides the theme. In this film I could see so much about visual elements of film making. You can easily mute this film and understand the scenes without the monologues. On the other hand you can just listen to the monologues of the nurse (Bibi An.) without watching the movie and that is also admirable. Here I just try to focus on main theme of the movie.

I have seen this movie for many times and after each time I changed my mind about the interpretation of this movie. Finally I found that Alma and Elizabeth are actually the same. Instead of considering two separate characters, Alma and Elizabeth, I saw Alma as the conscience of Elizabeth. The leading role of this movie is Elizabeth, even though Alma is the one who speaks during the whole movie. We know that Elizabeth has some kind of problems with herself. She is not sick because we know that she is mentally and physically normal. Her problem is the chasm between what she is to others and to herself. These two sides of her characteristics have been gathered in Alma. Therefore Alma is not a separate character from Elizabeth. She is Elizabeth's inside. Alma in the nursing dress is the good conscience of Elizabeth who tries to correct her, but Alma in other appearances is exactly Elizabeth's characteristic as it is shown to the others, mostly seen when they are in the summer place by the sea.

To support my notes I will refer you to some scenes of the movie; first of all, the scene that Elizabeth's husband comes to her but the one who encounters him is Alma, however he thinks that he is talking to his wife. We also see in a marvelous scene, where the husband is talking, the camera zooms to Elizabeth's face which gives the sense to viewers that Elizabeth is addressed by him. But we see that Alma is talking instead. Thirdly the scene in which Elizabeth takes Alma's hand to her husband's face and touches it, can also be considered as a support to my note. Another supportive gesture is the scene in which Alma imagines Elizabeth beside her when she is looking to the camera and then they put their heads on their shoulders. This scene has been repeated for three times during the whole movie. The scene in which Alma thinks that Elizabeth has said: "You should go to bed now, otherwise you'll fall asleep at the table." And the day after that Alma asks her these two questions:"Did you speak to me last night?"," Were you in my room last night? "

Doctor in this movie is the one who knows everything. She wants to correct Elizabeth by the nurse which as we said earlier is Elizabeth's good conscience. Elizabeth remains at the hospital in the whole movie and she just imagines that she goes to that summer place. Actually the struggle between Elizabeth and the good conscience happens in her imagination.

Elizabeth gradually got closer and closer to her good side of conscience during the movie although she didn't show any tendency to it at the first scenes. And finally we see that she totally follows her good conscience when she repeats the word, nothing, said by Alma to her. This is where the mission of Alma is completed.

In my opinion there are some vague scenes in this movie which I will go through. I saw an erect penis, a spider, a sheep, a nail in a hand, an old woman, an old man and a little boy in the beginning of the movie which raise some questions, i.e. why did Bergman use these elements in the beginning of his movie? What is the relation between these elements and the whole story? I just can give my understanding about penis element. Elizabeth hated to have a baby. Since penis can be considered as the source of making baby therefore it is involved in the first part.

I have seen some films directed by David Lynch, and I have found that Lynch's movies have many things in common with Bergman's, especially they both have taken scenes with seemingly irrelevant elements (such as a penis, a spider, a sheep, a nail, etc in this movie which we talked about them above) to the general trend of the movie. And also both tend to take surrealism, insanity and depression to pictures. It seems that Lynch has been affected by Bergman's movies, even stepped further.

It's important to notice that the movie starts in the view of the little boy. Elizabeth didn't want to have a child. While she is playing the Electra she decides to be silent. It seems that Elizabeth's silence is mainly caused by her problem with having child. So that's why Bergman depicts the boy in the beginning of his movie. The film starts with the boy watching and touching a picture of a woman which seems to be his mother in his imagination. The picture becomes clear by touching more and more. We have the same scene at the end of the movie, but at this time the picture vanishes (becomes white) when the boy touches it, and this means that the Elizabeth's problem is solved.

"Shaveh Kaham"

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