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Crisis

(Kris)
Sweden 1946. Dir: Ingmar Bergman. 93 min. DCP

A pantheon career begins here. Ingmar Bergman’s debut feature, made when he was 27, tells the melodramatic tale of a young woman torn between two mothers and between small-town security and big-city seductions. It opens in a sunny small community, where Nelly, a blossoming beauty, lives with Ingeborg, her prim but devoted foster mother. Their idyllic provincial life is rudely interrupted by the unexpected arrival of Jenny, Nelly's birth mother, a flashy woman with a disreputable past who now owns a Stockholm beauty salon. With her is Jack, a suave, sleazy figure who will be the catalyst for the sordid business to come. Bergman would later dismiss the film, over-harshly, as “lousy, through and through,” but there are hints of the future master in the expressionistic visuals, the palpable presence of death, the interest in female relationships, and the tortured character of Jack.