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Private Confessions (1996)

Enskilda samtal (original title)
Five conversations frame a flawed marriage in this film written by Ingmar Bergman about his parents. Guilt-ridden wife Anna (Pernilla August) divulges an extramarital affair to a priest, ... See full summary »



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Cast overview:
Thomas Hanzon ...
Tomas Egerman
Karin Åkerblom
Vibeke Falk ...
Fröken Nylander
Kristina Adolphson ...
Gunnel Fred ...
Märta Gärdsjö
Hans Alfredson ...
Biskop Agrell
Bengt Schött ...
Vaktmästare Stille


Five conversations frame a flawed marriage in this film written by Ingmar Bergman about his parents. Guilt-ridden wife Anna (Pernilla August) divulges an extramarital affair to a priest, her uncle Jacob (Max von Sydow). He presses her to confess her sins to her husband, Henrik. As the film moves back and forth in time, the notion of truth is tested. Tomas, the lover, and Henrik will find that Anna's confessions do not absolve anyone, and have the power to inflict more pain. Source: Rotten Tomatoes Written by Sasa Aleksic

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Biography | Drama


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Release Date:

1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Private Confessions  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$8,759 (USA) (8 January 1999)


$8,759 (USA) (8 January 1999)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(2 parts) | (theatrical)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

4:3 Letterbox
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Did You Know?


This is the last film by Ingmar Bergman with Sven Nykvist as the cinematographer. See more »


Featured in Bergman Island (2004) See more »


Jesu bleibet meine Freunde, No. 147
Music by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conducted by Christopher Hogwood
Performed by The Academy of Ancient Music
See more »

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User Reviews

Any film with Bergman involved promises much, and in delivery Private Confessions does not disappoint
20 January 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Apart from a couple of long-winded moments and an ending that feels a little forced, this is a most excellent film and very intriguing in so many ways. Long-term Bergman collaborator Sven Nykvist is responsible for the cinematography and every shot and frame has a hauntingly beautiful atmosphere and realism to it that it is almost hypnotising to watch. The director this time round is not Bergman, but Liv Ullman, one of his best regular actresses and among the best that Sweden ever had. The directing is done very intelligently, from collaborating with Bergman for so long there is definitely an influence but it never resorts to imitation. Like Bergman as well, she does a fine job in keeping the characters and situations as compellingly real as possible, whether you're fascinated by or indifferent to them is a matter of opinion. Bergman does have a hand in it, as a writer. The structure is very autobiographical and personal, and it so incredibly honest, often painfully so, and thought provoking. The story is insightful, dealing with complex issues with such realism, and while you mayn't consider the characters likable anybody familiar with Bergman's style and know enough about what he intends in every one of his movies will argue that they weren't meant to be, and I agree. Pernilla August gives a masterful lead performance, she says little but her gestures and expressions really resonate with you, for me in that regard like a female Max Von Sydow. Sydow also stars and I can't find anything to fault him whatsoever, like August he tells much without having to do so verbally. In conclusion, an excellent film and doesn't disappoint in what it promised. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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