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With: Max von Sydow, Liv Ullmann, Bibi Andersson, Erland Josephson, Erik Hell, Sigge Fürst
Written by: Ingmar Bergman
Directed by: Ingmar Bergman
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Language: Swedish with English subtitles
Running Time: 101
Date: 11/10/1969

The Passion of Anna (1969)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Seams from a Marriage

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Shot in color, The Passion of Anna (1969) takes place -- like its predecessors Hour of the Wolf and Shame -- on a remote island, where Andreas (Max Von Sydow) lives a solitary existence, until widowed Anna (Liv Ullmann) comes along. She tries to convince herself that she had a happy marriage, but Andreas knows differently. When Anna accidentally leaves her purse behind, Andreas reads a letter from her husband attempting to end the marriage. Nevertheless, Anna moves in with him and the cycle repeats. Bibi Andersson adds another layer as a confused married woman who has a brief fling with Andreas. Strangely, Bergman occasionally cuts away from the action with on-camera interviews of the actors explaining their characters' motivations. I generally prefer Bergman's black-and-white films, but Sven Nykvist's color cinematography makes Ullmann's blue eyes a thing to behold. MGM's letterboxed, subtitled DVD includes a commentary track, stills, a trailer, an "audio book" read by Elliot Gould, and more.

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