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Summer with Monika

Ingmar Bergman
Sommaren med Monika
Sweden 1953 / 96’
Claire Denis's choice

The black-and-white world of the Stockholm proletariat. Dirty streets, cramped housing, second-rate pubs. Hard work and a growing sense of despondency. A couple of young lovers named Harry and Monika decide to escape from all this. Using a stolen motorboat, they set off for a holiday during which they travel carefree from shore to shore, swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying their bodies. They also envision, naturally, a happy life together. When their dreams eventually meet reality, however, it is like a speeding car crashing into a concrete wall. This early work by cinematic master Ingmar Bergman was first acclaimed for its moral courage. In time, however, it also started to be appreciated for its artistic qualities. No one praised it more than Jean-Luc Godard, who, in a 1958 review, wrote that it was to contemporary cinema what The Birth of a Nation was to classic cinema.

Piotr Mirski

Ingmar Bergman

Ingmar Bergman (1918-2007) began his film career by correcting other people's scripts. He made his directorial debut with Crisis, which premiered in 1946. He gained fame with The Seventh Seal and Wild Strawberries. His subsequent works, including The Virgin SpringThrough a Glass Darkly, and Persona, cemented his position as one of the most important filmmakers in European cinema. He regularly worked with cinematographer Sven Nykvist and actors such as Harriet Andersson, Bibi Andersson, Liv Ullmann, and Max von Sydow. He also worked in theater.

Selected filmography

1953 Wakacje z Moniką / Sommaren med Monika / Summer with Monika

1957 Siódma pieczęć / Det sjunde inseglet / The Seventh Seal

1957 Tam, gdzie rosną poziomki / Smultronstället / Wild Strawberries

1960 Źródło / Jungfrukällan / The Virgin Spring

1961 Jak w zwierciadle / Sĺsom i en spegel / Through a Glass Darkly

1966 Persona

Cast & Crew

director Ingmar Bergman
screenplay Ingmar Bergman, Per Anders Fogelström, based on novel by Per Anders Fogelström
cinematography Gunnar Fischer
editing Tage Holmberg, Gösta Lewin
music Erik Nordgren, Eskil Eckert-Lundin, Walle Söderlund
cast Harriet Andersson, Lars Ekborg, Dagmar Ebbesen, Ĺke Fridell, Naemi Briese
producer Allan Ekelund
production Svensk Filmindustri
sales Swedish FIlm Institute
language Swedish
colouration b&w