Try to catch the original four-part TV series rather than this truncation for cinema release (especially the hideously dubbed English version); it emerges as Bergman's most potent psychodrama from the cycle that began with Cries and Whispers and ended with Autumn Sonata. The story concerns the gradual and agonising breakdown of a successful psychiatrist (Ullmann, married to another shrink played by Lindberg), who returns to her family home and becomes overwhelmed by memories of the past. The acting is intense, as you would expect from Ullmann and Josephson, working under a director who was coming to terms with his own breakdown in this film; and the nightmare imagery (washed-out backgrounds clashing vividly with stark colours) delivers a strong jolt to the subconscious. Laugh if you like, but check your dreams over the next few weeks after seeing it and you'll find fragments of this film corroding your conscience.
Cast and crew