In the midst of a civil war, former violinists Jan and Eva Rosenberg, who have a tempestuous marriage, run a farm on a rural island. In spite of their best efforts to escape their homeland, the war impinges on every aspect of their lives.
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.
Three women in a maternity ward reveal their lives and intimate thoughts to each other while in a maternity ward together, where they face the choice of keeping their babies or offering them for adoption.
During civil war, two musicians retreat to a rural island to farm. They are apolitical; a neighbor sometimes gives them a fish; wine is a luxury. They love each other, but there are problems: the war upsets Jan, he is weepy, too sensitive; Eva wants children, he does not. The war suddenly arrives: rebels attack, neighbors die. When the other side restores order, Jan and Eva are arrested as collaborators. After frightening and roughing them up, the local colonel releases them; then he begins appearing at their farmhouse: to talk or to pursue Eva? He gives her money. The rebels return; chaos ensues. Jan becomes violent and murderous; they flee. Can they escape? If so, to what?Written by
Although generally regarded as being one of Ingmar Bergman's finest films, the director himself was largely unhappy with the film. In his book "Images: My Life in Film", Bergman wrote that he felt the script was uneven, resulting in a poor first half. See more »
Eva is not wearing any socks when Jacobi arrives but several times during his visit she can be seen wearing a couple of black socks and no socks at all again. See more »
I had a dream. I was walking down a very beautiful street... and on one side there were white houses, with high arches and pillars. On the other side, there was a shady park. Under the trees which were growing near the street. there was a stream of dark green water. And then I came to a high wall, and it was overgrown with roses. And then came an airplane and set the roses on fire. But it wasn't too awful since it was so beautiful. I watched the reflections in the water, and saw how the roses ...
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An interesting and always gripping film, Bergman's "Shame" is completely devoid of any humor. From frame one, it's an unrelentingly downbeat and depressing film, albeit one that lingers in the mind due to it's haunting images. Liv Ullmann and Max Von Sydow are brilliant as the politically uninvolved couple who suffer the terrifying consequences of being caught up in the midst of a civil war. The issues behind the war are never defined and the two opposing sides are virtually indistinguishable in that they both practice indiscriminate torture and murder. The shame of the title applies on numerous levels throughout the film. The couple find themselves capable of acts that would have ordinarily been inconceivable, as they struggle to survive the onslaught of catastrophes. They betray their souls, their friends and even each other in a desperate attempt to simply survive another day.
If there's a lesson to any of this, it may be that no one can afford to be ignorant of the issues and the world around them or else they will be ill-equipped to deal with them when they inevitably intrude on even the most isolated of lives.
The black and white cinematography is stunning and the suspense is often unbearable, especially when the couple finds themselves at the mercy of renegade soldiers who cannot be reasoned with. The downbeat and confusing ending, however, does not satisfy...it seems a bit pretentious and leaves the viewer feeling a bit cheated. Nevertheless, a worthwhile and engrossing film from a master director.
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