"A Man and Artist of Contradictions"
SEARCHING FOR INGMAR BERGMAN is not only a fascinating biographical insight into one of the greatest directors of all time produced by a great film director, but is also a short course in filmmaking. The movie makes you want to see many of Bergman’s movies again and again. Throughout the movie, Bergman is shown in clips making brilliant observations on making a movie. When he’s asked what is a film director, he says the film director has so many problems to deal with that he never has time to think. Then, he says, “I’ve always felt lonely in the world, and that is why I escaped into filmmaking, but the feeling of community is an illusion.”
Bergman ushered in, according to many French filmmakers, the new vogue of filmmaking that was also called the auteur theory. Unlike his counterparts in other countries, his filmmaking was uniquely Scandinavian, however. His father had been the preacher at the big church in Stockholm, and many of Bergman’s early movies were attempts to break free from his Christian roots. That said, he always had a keen sense of right and wrong, good and evil, and made the supernatural seem natural. People accepted his supernatural devices as if they were ordinary.
Throughout his career, Bergman also wrestled with his childhood, with many movies giving autobiographical insights into his youth. However, his son, Daniel, says although Bergman was preoccupied with his youth, Bergman said he could never relate to his own children. In fact, even though he had a very sensitive and liberated view of women in his movies but took advantage of them in his real life. In fact, as soon as he got them pregnant, he left them. At 60 years old, his wife made Bergman get his dozen or so children together. Most had never met each other.
When he was arrested for tax evasion, Bergman escaped to Germany and felt betrayed by the fatherland, the socialist government he supported for years. So, he made a series of anti-Nazi movies, some with extreme violence and sex. Later, he exchanged movies for the theater, but returned after 10 years and was still on the top of his form.
One movie critics and historians said would have been great for his theatrical productions, great for his writing, even if he hadn’t been the greatest for his filmmaking, which he was. At one point, during his exile to Germany, he was told he could get psychiatric treatment but might lose his creativity, so he rejected psychiatric treatment.
In their words, Bergman was a series of contradictions. Those contradictions eventually highlighted the need Bergman had for the salvation of Jesus Christ.
After watching this documentary, however, it would be nice to watch Bergman’s major movies once more.
SEARCHING FOR INGMAR BERGMAN is a fascinating insight into one of the greatest directors and a short course in filmmaking. Bergman is shown in clips making brilliant observations on making a movie. Thus, he says the film director has so many problems to deal with that he never has time to think. The movie examines Bergman’s filmmaking career and includes a special focus on the movies he made in Germany. It also examines how his personal life affected his movies, including his childhood, his many love affairs and the controversy over his tax evasion case in Sweden.
Unlike other auteurs, Bergman’s filmmaking was uniquely Scandinavian. His father was the preacher at the big church in Stockholm, and Bergman’s early movies attempted to break free from Christianity. That said, he always had a keen sense of right and wrong and made the supernatural seem natural. People accepted his supernatural devices as if they were ordinary. Sadly, one of his sons says Bergman never could relate to his many children. SEARCHING FOR INGMAR BERGMAN makes you want to see some of Bergman’s movies again.