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
Ingmar Bergman later stated that when they first started shooting, Ingrid Bergman played her part horribly. But after they discussed it, she was "Brilliant, incredibly difficult, but brilliant". See more »
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 »
Sometimes, when I lie awake at night, I wonder whether I've lived at all. Is it the same for everybody? Do some people have a greater talent for living than others or do some people never live, but just exist?
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This is a beautiful and devastating film that I admire, love and am connected to. This was the first Liv Ullmann's film I've seen and the first Bergman's color film. It is considered to be Ingrid Bergman's film and she is phenomenal as a talented and world renowned pianist who had never been a good mother to her two daughters. It is much easier to make the whole world happy then your own child. One can be a brilliant artist and read the minds of the other great minds easily but the hearts and souls of one's own blood and flesh would be the unsolved mystery. I think the film was very personal for both Bergmans in their only work together. It is amazing how bravely they explore the themes and events that could've (and did) occurred in their own lives. For me, though, the film belongs to Liv Ullmann, the greatest actress I've seen, the best Ingmar Bergman's actress.
I was riveted to Liv's face; I'd never seen the face like hers. She played a plain daughter to the brilliant mother and she was supposed to look and feel awkward and gawky comparing to her mother but her face was like a magnet, her eyes - like two deep blue lakes. If ever the saying, the eyes are the soul's mirror, is true, it is about Liv's eyes. There are kindness, tenderness, strength, and something even more attractive than beauty itself in them - the goodness of her soul. Dostoyevsky said once that human face has to mean something - I always think of his words when I see performance of my favorite actress ever -Liv Ullmann.
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