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The Passion of Anna

aka A Passion (En passion)
Sweden 1969. Dir: Ingmar Bergman. 101 min. DCP

Bergman was a late convert to colour; this powerful 1969 drama, stunningly shot by Sven Nykvist, was only his second colour picture. Set on a secluded island (and made on the director’s favourite isle of Fårö, a locale also of Persona, Hour of the Wolf, The Shame, and other Bergman works), the film is a characteristic Bergman study of human isolation and pain, enacted by an ensemble cast featuring four of Bergman’s best: Max von Sydow, Liv Ullmann, Bibi Andersson, and Erland Josephson. The fractures and fissures of the characters’ various relationships are set against a bizarre series of atrocities being committed by a maniac on the loose. The film displays a distinctive, muted colour palette, and makes effective use of Brechtian breaks, in which Bergman stops the drama to interview his actors about their roles. The Passion of Anna, while relatively unsung, is one of Bergman’s major achievements.


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REVIEWS

"One of Bergman's most beautiful films."

New York Times | full review