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Ingmar Bergman

The Rite (aka The Ritual)


This darkly comic and formally audacious film focuses on the trial of a cabaret trio accused of indecency.

Image from The Rite (aka The Ritual)

Sweden 1969
Dir Ingmar Berman
With Ingrid Thulin, Gunnar Björnstrand, Anders Ek, Erik Hell
English subtitles
Certificate 15

A judge interviews a successful cabaret trio accused of indecency, only to be fascinated, repelled and finally profoundly affected by their painfully complicated ménage-à-trois. With its mistrust of authority and echoes of previous films (including The Face), this was clearly a deeply personal film for Bergman; darkly comic, formally audacious, and imbued with an unsettling intensity and ambiguity.

+ Daniel (episode from Stimulantia)
Sweden 1967. Dir Ingmar Bergman. 11min
Bergman’s contribution to a portmanteau film comprising episodes by nine Swedish directors focuses on his son Daniel, who would go on to direct Sunday’s Children (which screened in January). The Mozart on the soundtrack is performed by Bergman’s then-wife Käbi Laretei.


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