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Ingmar Bergman
A definitive film season

January-March 2018

Our comprehensive, three-month survey marks the centenary of the birth of Ingmar Bergman, one of the greatest filmmakers of all time.

Introduction by season programmer Geoff Andrew

Ingmar Bergman


Extended run

  • Persona


    Bergman’s modernist masterpiece explores the volatile relationship between an actress and her nurse.

  • The Touch

    The Touch

    A happily-married woman embarks on a passionate love affair in this fine Bergman drama.



Part 1 (January)

“Bergman’s connection with the audience was somewhat like Hitchcock’s – direct, immediate”
Martin Scorsese

Though he also excelled in theatre, Bergman is best known for his work in film and television. The ultimate auteur, he wrote and directed profoundly personal projects notable for their honesty in tackling the ‘big questions’ of everyday existence. How do we live with ourselves and others? Is there an order behind our unjust universe? Can love, sex, compassion and creative endeavour help, given death’s inevitability? Drawing on his own experiences and emotions, Bergman was a fearless, peerless explorer of human psychology. Making repeated use of a group of formidable actors, and refining his narrative and visual style until it focused – in sharp close-up – on essentials, he forged an extraordinary body of work, exhilarating in its dramatic precision, purity and power. Our groupings of his films highlight his abiding preoccupations.

Geoff Andrew

Part 2 (February)

“I don’t want to make merely intellectual films. I want audiences to feel, to sense my films”
Ingmar Bergman

Because Bergman’s best-known film (The Seventh Seal) is famous for humanising death, it has led to misconceptions regarding the writer-director’s abiding concerns. He was interested in how humans confront their mortality, but that was simply part of a broader fascination with how we – in relatively comfortable Western Europe – cope with the messy complexity of life itself. How do we respond to misfortune, injustice, cruelty, violence, war, even diabolical evil? These issues, along with dashed dreams and failed ambitions, may affect anyone; but women also have to deal with patriarchal society and the pride, insecurity and condescending egotism of individual males. Small wonder Bergman, so alert to inner turmoil and torment, made an unusually large number of films focused on female protagonists. And some of them rank among his very greatest achievements.

Geoff Andrew


See Liv Ullmann in conversation, our screenings of Persona, The Touch and our Future Film recommends choices.

Coming in part three in March: The Magic Flute, Hour of the Wolf, The Face and many more...

Cultural partners

Ingmar Bergman Foundation

1918-2018 Bergman

With thanks to the Swedish Film Institute, SF Studios, The Ministry of Culture Sweden and the Embassy of Sweden in London

Promotional partners

Scandi Kitchen      Totally Swedish

Restaurant partner


Retail partner

Tiger of Sweden

BFI recommends
The Old Vic
Fanny & Alexander
21 Feb-14 Apr
Legendary filmmaker Ingmar Bergman’s masterpiece Fanny & Alexander is translated to the stage by BAFTA award-winning writer Stephen Beresford with Penelope Wilton as Helena Ekdahl.

Old Vic


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