Persona review – Ingmar Bergman's enigmatic masterpiece still captivates

Bergman’s sensually brilliant 1966 film about a mute actress and her psychiatric nurse is an endlessly questioning and mysterious disquisition on identity

Here, for the centenary of Ingmar Bergman’s birth, is a rerelease of one of his fiercest, strangest, most sensually brilliant and unclassifiable pictures: Persona, from 1966. This was last revived in British cinemas 14 years ago, and I have in the past been agnostic about what I felt were contrivances and rather atypical attempts to engage with the Godardian spirit of the times.

Revisited now, the movie actually more suggests the Roman Polanski of Knife in the Water and Repulsion. Yet more than that, it forces on the audience its own utter uniqueness. It is stark, spare, endlessly questioning and self-questioning, a movie whose enigmas and challenges multiply, like the heads of Hydra.

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