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The Touch

(Beröringen)
Sweden/USA 1971. Dir: Ingmar Bergman. 115 min. DCP

Bergman’s first film in English divided critics and remains underappreciated. Bibi Andersson plays a Swedish housewife who jeopardizes her nominally happy marriage to a provincial surgeon (Max von Sydow) by embarking on an affair with a volatile Jewish-American archaeologist (New Hollywood icon Elliott Gould). The film is regarded as one of Bergman’s most straightforward and accessible; the director himself described it as, simply, “a love story” — although Christian symbolism and the Holocaust figure into the drama. “A romantic film of great poignancy and strength and an example of masterful cinema honed down to deceptively simple near-perfection" (Variety). “A revelation ... It was quickly overshadowed by Bergman’s subsequent works [including Cries and Whispers and Scenes from a Marriage] — but it’s time to recognize it as a major entry in the director’s canon” (Geoff Andrew, Sight & Sound).


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REVIEWS

"Effortlessly brilliant ... A lost, mid-career gem."

Little White Lies | full review