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UK: Metro Tartan Distribution
Cast: Bibi Andersson, Liv Ullmann, Margaretha Krook, Gunnar Björnstrand, Jörgen Lindströ
Director: Ingmar Bergman
Language: Swedish (English subtitles)
UK: 82 mins
UK Certificate: 15 contains moderate horror images and sexual references
UK Release Date: 31 January 2003 (Limited Release)
Difficult to conjure up now the extraordinary impact PERSONA had when it appeared in the mid-sixties. Bergman's previous film had been the rather ponderous NOW ABOUT THESE WOMEN, but PERSONA sparkles as quite simply the richest and most multi-layered achievement of Bergman's career.
It starts with a stunning pre-credits sequence, and explores the tense, competitive relationship between a nurse, Alma (Bibi Andersson) and her charge, Elisabeth (Liv Ullmann) an actress, who has suddenly stopped speaking for no apparent reason. Their personalities blend and blur in a bizarre osmosis, as the actress sinks her teeth - literally - into the flesh and spirit of her companion. Bergman has never explored the human face (or rather the mask that it consists of) with greater incisiveness.