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The Passion of Anna (1969)
"En passion" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  28 May 1970 (USA)
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Reviews: 32 user | 19 critic

Andreas, a man struggling with the recent demise of his marriage and his own emotional isolation, befriends a married couple also in the midst of psychological turmoil. In turn he meets ... See full summary »



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Credited cast:
Anna Fromm
Eva Vergerus
Erik Hell ...
Johan Andersson
Sigge Fürst ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Britta Brunius ...
Woman in dream
Lars-Owe Carlberg ...
Police officer
Malin Ek ...
Woman in dream
Barbro Hiort af Ornäs ...
Woman in dream
Svea Holst ...
Verner's wife
Marianne Karlbeck ...
Woman in dream
Annicka Kronberg ...
Brian Wikström ...
Police officer
Brita Öberg ...
Woman in dream


Andreas, a man struggling with the recent demise of his marriage and his own emotional isolation, befriends a married couple also in the midst of psychological turmoil. In turn he meets Anna, who is grieving the recent deaths of her husband and son. She appears zealous in her faith and steadfast in her search for truth, but gradually her delusions surface. Andreas and Anna pursue a love affair, but he is unable to overcome his feelings of deep humiliation and remains disconnected. Meanwhile, the island community is victimized by an unknown person committing acts of animal cruelty. Written by Nancy Dowling <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Release Date:

28 May 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Passion of Anna  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


(Eastmancolor)| (dream sequence)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Filmed in the aftermath of Ingmar Bergman's break-up with Liv Ullmann on the island where they had lived together See more »


Andreas Winkelman: What is this deadly poison that corrodes the best in us, leaving only the shell?
See more »


Referenced in Orada (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

Complex character study
3 November 2007 | by (Xanadu) – See all my reviews

Salman Rushdie stated once that he can think of only very few movie directors who could have been novelists as well and he lists Bergman among S. Ray, Fellini and Woody Allen. En Passion clearly illustrates this. The movie is built around four characters, isolated on an island as in many Bergman movies. It's hard to really tell what's happening and I mean this to sound vague: there is not much of an action because the movie insists on character study and you can't really tell the inner strings that make this characters function. That this is a character study comes even more clear from the interludes a la Godard that break the film allowing the actual actors to state their opinion on the characters they are playing. Just like in a novel the deep psychological analysis leaves you not really sure of what to think, this goes to show you that you are dealing with something very close to real life people; just like in real life, characters from good novels and those from Bergman's film, seem fluid, versatile, in a continuous change. Obviously, because people who can be reduced to only one word or phrase have no story to tell and cliché characters are only found in bad movies.

Although the isolation prevents a large number of people to find their way in these peoples lives, the cruelties of the human race are all pervasive, violence from what seems to be the Vietnam war is present on a TV screen, a mad-man is terrorizing the inhabitants of the island by killing their livestock, a poor old man is driven to suicide by an angry mob that beats and humiliates him and the characters communication is broken by mistrust, lies and generally "physical and psychological violence" (a phrase that appears in typed letters a few times in the movie) Though the content of the movie is "ugly", dealing with all these things I mentioned above, the overall artistry with which the movie is made is amazing. This is something that can be also found in novels, and Faulkner comes to my mind here, his subject-matter is at times despicable but the art of the novel itself is amazing.

Two thumbs up for Sven Nykvist who works in color here, and brilliantly does so.

I gave a ten rating to von Sydow as I was really impressed in the way he manages to make interesting a character so low and miserable you can't even feel pity for.

In spite of all these I don't think this movie reaches the heights of other Bergman projects such as Persona or Winter Light, the interruptions of the actors who explain their characters feels to much like a Godard trick and it really appears to have the same function as such tricks play in the latter's movies: it makes the viewer indifferent to the fate of the characters and distances him/her from the narrative.

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