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.
A young nurse, Alma, is put in charge of Elisabeth Vogler: an actress who is seemingly healthy in all respects, but will not talk. As they spend time together, Alma speaks to Elisabeth constantly, never receiving any answer. Alma eventually confesses her secrets to a seemingly sympathetic Elisabeth and finds that her own personality is being submerged into Elisabeth's persona.Written by
This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #701. See more »
Anaesthetise me... throw me away! No, I can't, I can't take any more! Leave me alone! It's shame, it's all shame! Leave me alone! I'm cold and rotten and indifferent! It's all just lies and imitation, all of it!
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The American version, released by United Artists, omits a brief close-up shot of an erect penis from the film's pre-credit collage. See more »
Profound studie of the human psyche. Honest story about nooks of existence and vain hopes. Anatomy of helplessness and deep solitude. Life as convention, mask for feelings and expectations.
Another room of Bergman's universe. Same cruel instruments, game of flash-backs and dream sequences, visions and memories. Fight between two women as screen for interior struggle. Impact of consciences and lights of sin. Illness like armour against fake images and empty future. Confesions like way to be yourself. Like cries suffocates by silence of the other.
Story about refuse and cages. About dreams and disillusions. About chaotic values and flavour of extinction. People as rabbits for experiments. The other like sign of salvation. And the question of soul.
"Persona" is an act of confrontation between Ingmar Bergman and God. The silence, the cruelty of letters, the cries and the confessions of Alma are only guns in a strange and ambiguous war. So, any film of this great director is a religious personal answer to permanent subtle fear. In this case, the shadow of divine presence is the Liv Ulmann smile.
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