My Sister My Love (1966)
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Set in Sweden in 1782. A young nobleman, named Jacob (Per Oscarsson) returns from France to his home and cherished sister Charlotte (Bibi Andersson) who is engaged to Baron Alsameden (Jarl Kulle). The siblings close relationship becomes incestuous and with fear that the disclosure of Charlotte's pregnancy will make society view them as libertines, the lovers ultimately choose to part, Jacob decides to leave the country and Charlotte if left to marry the Baron, but the benefits of this film are not found in the story but in the people involved within, greatly achieved by superb performances.
Sjöman Uses the taboo subject of incest (which got the film into trouble with the censors) as a 'Drama of ideas'.
The film has understandably been compared to the work of Ingmar Bergman, director Vilgot Sjöman was an assistant to Bergman, crisp black and white photography and psychological viewpoint with Bergman's most frequent leading lady Bibi Andersson running the gauntlet of physiological trauma, Gunnar Björnstrand and Jarl Kulle appear in many Bergman films and both star in this film, are obvious reasons why. The only film I can compare this one to is 'Coup de Grace' which also balances a powerful performance, history, relevant subject matter, sexual repression and politics.
This movie survives as a document of a truly great performance of cinema, social attitudes, conflicting concepts of human liberty in question, human behaviour and sensational subject matter treated with sensitively and maturity by an underrated director. The long over due release of this great film on VHS or DVD is outrageous and really should be available to those who have not been fortunate enough to see it and for those who have, and would gladly purchase it as a worthy member of any film collection, Criterion and other DVD companies please take notice! Although the film is certainly not for everyone, I am sure it would be greatly welcomed by those who expect a thought provoking, challenging, original piece of true art.