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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

LIV AND INGMAR

By D.E.Levine

A NYFF50 Selection

U.K.-based director Dheeraj Akolkar has given us a first documentary that is a reminiscence of the love affair between actress Liv Ullmann and director Ingmar Bergman.

Ullmann reflects on her relationship and with her candid reminiscences and voice over readings from her book "Changing" interwoven with clips from Bergman's films, passages from his love letters, archival photos and footage, the film is fascinating and appealing.

Just 25 years old when she met the 46 year old Bergman on the set of his film "Persona", there was an immediate powerful attraction although both were married to other people at the time.

Leaving her husband and going to live with Bergman on Faro Island, Ullmann bore him a daughter.  Although passionately in love, the director spent his days working in solitude and refused to allow her to have friends visit their walled off property.   It must have been difficult to live with him and although Bergman is deceased, by quoting from his own memoirs and letters to Ullmann to demonstrate the awareness he had of his own shortcomings which would eventually drive Ullmann away.  Their affair lasted five years, but their collaborative efforts lasted until the end of his life, as did their friendship.