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Thirst

aka Three Strange Loves (Törst)
Sweden 1949. Dir: Ingmar Bergman. 84 min. DCP

Hell is other people — spouses definitely included! — in Bergman’s ambitious seventh feature, a merciless matrimonial drama in the tradition of Strindberg, but likened by one French critic to Rossellini’s Voyage to Italy revised by Sartre. Based on short stories by Swedish actress-writer Birgit Tengroth, the film casts Eva Henning and Birger Malmsten as a couple trapped in wedded torment. Their journey across war-ravaged Europe in a claustrophobic train compartment enhances the film’s sense of no-exit confinement. In a parallel story, the husband’s ex-lover (played by author Tengroth) finds herself sexually victimized by an evil psychiatrist. An early example of Bergman’s metaphoric use of the journey, and his interest in the female perspective, Thirst was made shortly after the failure of the second of Bergman’s five marriages. “On balance, Bergman’s strongest offering of the 1940s” (Trevor Johnston, Time Out).

 

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BERGMAN KILLS BACTERIA! The screening of Thirst on Wednesday, November 7 is preceded by Bergman's Bris soap commercials.