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Directed by Ingmar Bergman

Year Of Release

Ingmar Bergman

Ingmar Bergman

Ingmar Bergman

Bibi Andersson, Liv Ullmann, Margaretha Krook, Gunnar Björnstrand

This was more of an experience then a film. If you take all the emotion you ever felt from the viewing of any film and multiply it by a thousand, then you get close to what I just felt watching Persona. The first five minutes of fast, flashing, introduction of surrealist imagery, which subsequently creates the basis for the plot, are the most unsettling and stomach churning I've seen in a film.

The only way I can explain what this film made me feel is like being trapped in someone else's depressed mind (if that makes sense.) The viewer becomes immediately enveloped in the ever increasing feeling of unease and tension as the nurse and her silent patience's minds become melded in a chaos of self-examination, reverse psychology and dependency. Everything in this film is measured to perfection: the sound effects and camera work are amazing, and I especially liked the kind of intermission crafted from sharp sounds and images used to signal a breaking point in the relationship of the two women.

Toward the end of the film, when the truth is revealed about the silent actresses past and cause of her silence, every scene is amazingly tense, powerful and brilliantly filmed. The drip-drop sound effect, which reappeared throughout the film, is eerily effective and cuts right straight through you. Obviously, I have a lot of unanswered questions, which isn't surprising for a film this complex, which has been studied for years, and will require multiple re-viewings to interpret, (Which I'm looking forward to). At first, I was a little dubious before watching the film, as I thought it might be a little too complex for it's own good (and mine.) But instead it has quenched my thirst for this kind of cinema - a kind I watch far too little of.