Marianne, some thirty years after divorcing Johan, decides to visit her ex-husband at his summer home. She arrives in the middle of a family drama between Johan's son from another marriage and his granddaughter.
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Marianne and Johan meet again after thirty years without contact, when Marianne suddenly feels a need to see her ex-husband again. She decides to visit Johan at his old summer house in the western province of Dalarna. And so, one beautiful autumn day, there she is, beside his reclining chair, waking him with a light kiss. Staying at a cottage on the property are Johan's son Henrik and Henrik's daughter Karin. Henrik is giving his daughter cello lessons and already sees her future as staked out. Relations between father and son are very strained, but both are protective of Karin. They are all still mourning Anna, Henrik's much-loved wife, who died two years ago, yet who, in many ways, remains present among them. Marianne soon realizes that things are not all as they should be, and she finds herself unwillingly drawn into a complicated and upsetting power struggle. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
The title comes from cello suites composed by Bach, which are dances for couples. The film follows the shape of the dance, with a couple in a conversation that can be described as the dance. See more »
After Karin gets up to leave before playing the saraband, the wires from the lights, and the end pins for the cellos are no longer on the floor, despite being there once Karin and Henrik's conversation began. See more »
After thirty years without seeing each other, Marianne (Liv Ulmann) has a strong need to visit Johan (Erland Josephson), who is living in an isolated house that belonged to his grandparents after inheriting a fortune from a distant aunt. In the nearby cottage, Johan's son from another marriage, Henrik (Börje Ahlstedt), is living with his daughter Karin (Julia Dufvenious), after the death of his beloved wife Anna. Henrik is giving cello lessons to Karin to be admitted into a European music school and has an incestuous relationship with his daughter. Along the autumn, Marianne is involved in the troubled relationship between Johan and his son, and Henrik and his daughter.
In his last work as a director, Ingmar Bergman revisits the characters of 1973 "Scenes from a Marriage" thirty years older, with Marianne sharing the dramatic and complicated relationship of John's family. The first point that impresses in this movie is the always precise and careful direction of an 83 years old Ingmar Bergman, showing an amazing vitality and longevity in his career. I do not recall the last movie I have seen of Liv Ulmann, but this now senior actress is still fantastic. This theatrical movie is a great character study, as usual in Bergman's films, with excellent and emotional dialogs, and ends with many open issues. Why Johan and Henrik hate each other so deeply? What was written in the last page of Anna's farewell letter? I believe she knew that her husband was having an incestuous relationship with Karin. The unknown actress Julia Dufvenious is extremely beautiful and talented, and her contradictory character is also impressive. My vote is eight.
Title (Brazil): "Saraband"
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