Two estranged sisters, Ester and Anna, and Anna's 10-year-old son travel to the Central European country on the verge of war. Ester becomes seriously ill and the three of them move into a hotel in a small town called Timoka.
Harry Lund is a nineteen-year-old man who meets Monika, a romantic, reckless and rebellious seventeen-year-old, and they fall in love. They leave their families and jobs in their small town, Harry gets his father's boat and they spend the summer together in an isolated island. Monika gets pregnant, and Harry decides to marry her. He grows up, gets a job and returns to his studies, trying to improve their lives and raise their daughter June, while Monika just wants to have fun.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Considered by many Bergman's first truly important film
The first half recalls Bergman's earlier 'Summer Interlude'. But the second half goes further and explores the 'what if' of the summer romance between teens; moving into parenthood, marriage, and disillusionment.
The acting is excellent, and unlike 'Summer Interlude' these actors look close to the naive age they're playing.
The film's point of view sometimes felt a bit one sided to me with 'bad girl' Monika, from a crude, poor family, less willing to extend herself than her upper-class boyfriend Harry. Of course, along with being selfish she is also the more complex and fascinating character, especially as played by the young Harriett Andersson.
Some critics make the argument – with merit – that the film doesn't judge Monika,the audience does. Indeed, it could be argued that the film is meant to make us question our own judgment of a poor girl who is brought up with dreams of marriage as a glamorous escape, and not just a humdrum existence. It's not for nothing the heroine is obsessed with Hollywood love stories.
Andersson's performance may be the first of the many hyper-real and extremely complex characters in Bergman's body of work, transcending 'type' and moral judgment.
The film was beloved by the French New wave filmmakers, who saw in it's complex attitude (and very brief nudity) a throwing off of the shackles of conventional characters and storytelling.
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