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The Rite

aka Ritual (Riten)
Sweden 1969. Dir: Ingmar Bergman. 72 min. 35mm

Bergman’s psychosexual chamber drama, a nightmarish exploration of artistic responsibility (and humiliation), was originally made for Swedish television, then released theatrically with an ad campaign promising: “A world event! A masterpiece that shocks!” Recalling earlier Bergman tours-de-force such as Sawdust and Tinsel, The Magician, and Hour of the Wolf, the provocative film has a trio of actors — husband (Gunnar Björnstrand), wife (Ingrid Thulin), and wife’s lover (Anders Ek) — called up before a magistrate (played by the appropriately named Erik Hell) on charges of obscenity. Their examination becomes a cruel, sadistic inquisition, and culminates in a chilling re-creation of “The Rite,” their allegedly pornographic play. Watch for Bergman in a black-robed, Seventh Seal-like cameo. The rarest film from Bergman’s most innovative period, The Rite screens here in a 35mm print.

 

REVIEWS

"Rarely seen but thoroughly captivating."

Chicago Reader | full review

"A bold step forward in Bergman's analysis of human isolation."

Time Out | full review

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Bergman Triple Bill – Sunday, July 8
The Rite + Hour of the Wolf + The Shame
Triple Bill Price: $24 Adults / $22 Students & Seniors
Regular single and double bill prices otherwise in effect.
Annual $3 membership required.

Purchase tickets to the Bergman Triple Bill here