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Summer with Monika

Ingmar Bergman
Sommaren med Monika
Sweden 1953 / 96’
The Seventh Seal

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 was one of the most important filmmakers in the history of artistic cinema. Born in 1918, he died in 2007 on the very same day that another legend passed away, Michelangelo Antonioni. He began his career in the film industry by correcting screenplays for others. He gained directorial experience as an assistant to Alf Sjöberg on Torment, for which he wrote the script. He made his directorial debut with Crisis. He gained international fame thanks to Smiles of a Summer Night, and then cemented his position with The SeventhSeal and Wild Strawberries, filmed shortly thereafter. The coming years and decades brought him even more success. 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 the theater.

Selected filmography

1946 Kryzys / Kris / Crisis

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

1955 Uśmiech nocy / Sommarnattens leende / Smiles of a Summer Night

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 / Såsom i en spegel / Through a Glass Darkly

1966 Persona

1972 Szepty i krzyki / Viskningar och rop / Cries and Whispers

1973 Sceny z życia małżeńskiego / Scener ur ett äktenskap / Scenes from a Marriage (TV)

1977 Jajo węża / The Serpent's Egg

1978 Jesienna sonata / Höstsonaten / Autumn Sonata

1983 Fanny i Aleksander / Fanny och Alexander / Fanny and Alexander (TV)

2003 Sarabanda / Saraband (TV)

Cast & Crew

director Ingmar Bergman
screenplay Ingmar Bergman, 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, Åke Fridell, Naemi Briese
producer Allan Ekelund
production Svensk Filmindustri (SF)
sales Ambasada Szwecji
language Swedish
colouration b&w