Persona • 1h 23m
Directed by Ingmar Bergman • 1966 • Sweden
Starring Liv Ullmann, Bibi Andersson
By the midsixties, Ingmar Bergman had already conjured many of the cinema’s most unforgettable images. But with the radical PERSONA, he attained new levels of visual poetry. In the first of a series of legendary performances for Bergman, Liv Ullmann plays a stage actor who has inexplicably gone mute; an equally mesmerizing Bibi Andersson is the garrulous young nurse caring for her in a remote island cottage. While isolated together there, the women undergo a mysterious spiritual and emotional transference. Performed with astonishing nuance and shot in stark contrast and soft light by Sven Nykvist, the influential PERSONA is a penetrating, dreamlike work of profound psychological depth.
Up Next in Persona
PERSONA’s Prologue: A Poem in Images
The following visual essay by Ingmar Bergman scholar Peter Cowie, produced in 2013, focuses on the first seven minutes of PERSONA.
Edgar Wright on PERSONA
Paul Schrader on PERSONA
Writer and director Paul Schrader has long been a fan of Ingmar Bergman’s work. In this 2013 interview, Schrader discusses the lasting impact of PERSONA.