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Saraband

2003 Drama

As the final masterwork of Ingmar Bergman, the world's most revered cinematic craftsperson, Saraband embodies the sequel to the director's five-hour Scenes from a Marriage, produced and directed 30 years after that original epic. Here, Bergman revisits the two characters from that film, divorcees Johan (Erland Josephson) and Marianne (Liv Ullmann), after years of estrangement from one another. Marianne now lives alone; of her two middle-aged daughters from the marriage to Johan, one lives in Australia, while the other suffered a mental breakdown. Marianne has contact with neither. After leafing through an assemblage of old photographs and waxing nostalgic, Marianne decides to revisit the now-wealthy Johan, who lives in the country with an adjoining cottage and two descendants: his 61-year-old widower son, Henrik (Börje Ahlstedt of I Am Curious (Yellow)), and Henrik's 19-year-old daughter, Karin (Julia Dufvenius). The relationships in Johan's family are broken and deeply dysfunctional: Johan resents Henrik, whom he perceives as worthless in every capacity other than fatherhood; Henrik resents Johan for his niggardly attitudes about his wealth; Karin feels bound by familial shackles and yearns to escape the confines of the life that ensnares her, ultimately hoping to move to the city and pursue her dream of becoming a cellist. Bergman uses the central narrative to examine how parents can damage one another by wielding the demands of their own selfish egos and refusing to grant joy and contentment to themselves or their children. more..

Director: Ingmar Bergman

Starring: Liv Ullmann,Erland Josephson, Borje Ahlstedt, Julia Dufvenius, Gunnel Fred

Reviews

  • Bergman has never been an ordinary filmmaker, and what he's given us is no genial last hurrah but rather an intensely dramatic, at times lacerating examination of life's conundrums that is exhilarating in its fearlessness and its command.

    Kenneth Turan - Los Angeles Times

    19 January 2013

  • Powerfully, painfully honest.

    Roger Ebert - The Chicago Sun-Times

    19 January 2013

  • Bergman's Saraband is sublime.

    Joe Morgenstern - The Wall Street Journal

    19 January 2013

  • It would be difficult to identify a single frame in Saraband that is not a distinguished composition in itself; Bergman has the eye of a latter-day Vermeer.

    - The Washington Post

    19 January 2013

  • Builds slowly and naturally to an unbearable personal crisis.

    Ty Burr - The Boston Globe

    19 January 2013

Awards

  • Ingmar Bergman

    Argentinean Film Critics Association Awards (2005)

  • Best European Union Film (Meilleur film de l'Union Européenne)

    César Awards, France (2005)

     
  • Ingmar Bergman

    Sant Jordi Awards (2006)