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.
After having neglected her children for many years, world famous pianist Charlotte visits her daughter Eva in her home. To her surprise she finds her other daughter, Helena, there as well. Helena is mentally disabled, and Eva has taken Helena out of the institution where their mother had placed her. The tension between Charlotte and Eva only builds up slowly, until a nightly conversation releases all the things they have wanted to tell each other.Written by
In the dialogue scene where Charlotte is lying on the floor and Eva is sitting on the sofa behind her, the shadow of the boom mic is visible on the curtains when the camera pans to Eva for a few seconds. See more »
I'm seized by fear and see a horrible picture of myself. I have never grown up. My face and my body have aged. I acquire memories and experiences but inside all that I haven't even been born. I can't remember any faces not even my own.
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Ingmar Bergman claimed, in the DVD-introduction, that Ingrid Bergman told him that she wanted to make a film with him. The result was, and still is, a cinematographic masterpiece that compromises neither with style or emotion to get the message out. Ingrid Bergman is simply astonishing in the role as the world famous singer that after years of neglecting her children returns to find her oldest daughter full of hatred towards her. A hatred she doesn't understand, somewhere inside being a child needing attention herself. The tension between mother and daughter is building up, at first it is jolly but soon we see cracks in the surface of both Ingrid Bergman's glamorous Charlotte and Liv Ullman's quiet and suppressed Eva.
"Höstsonaten" is beautiful, but it takes its toll on the viewer. If you aren't prepared for it, it can be an emotional roller coaster ride that leaves you chocked when its over. The beauty and the ugliness of the human soul, ripped apart by anger, disease and sadness, is clear in this work of art.
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