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Directed by: Ingmar Bergman

Cast: Liv Ullmann Erland Josephson Börje Ahlstedt Julia Dufvenius

Studio: Sony Pictures Classics

Genre: Drama

Official Site: N/A

Release Date: 2004-00-00 (wide)


After their divorce, Johan and Marianne lost touch for many, many years. Johan, now a retired professor, has withdrawn to his grandparents' summerhouse in the western province of Dalarna. He bought the house after inheriting a minor fortune from a Danish aunt, a once-famous opera singer. Here he leads a solitary life with his books and a housekeeper. Marianne, who has continued her practice as a family and divorce lawyer, suddenly decides to look up Johan and break through his isolation. Neither of them keeps up regular contact with their daughters, Sara, married and living in Australia, and Martha, who is ill and confined to a nursing home. One beautiful autumn day Marianne stands looking at Johan as he dozes in a lawn chair. She goes up and wakes him with a soft kiss, and after thirty-two years of separation they now begin several intense weeks together.

Also present on the property is Henrik, Johan's son from an earlier marriage. Henrik is staying in the lake cottage with his daughter Karin. His beloved wife and Karin's mother Anna has been dead for two years, but her presence is still intensely palpable. Henrik has not managed to get over Anna's death. He took early retirement from his position at Uppsala University and is devoting himself now to writing a book about Bach's St. Johan Passion and giving his daughter cello lessons. Karin is very gifted and plans to try out for the conservatory. All summer they have been working together to prepare for her audition. Henrik also plays in a little chamber orchestra in Uppsala.

Johan's relations with his son Henrik have always been tense and complicated, but he had a warm and close relationship with his daughter-in-law Anna, and he, too, misses her terribly. Marianne's sudden appearance and presence unleashes the hidden power struggle that has been going on around Karin. Karin seeks out Marianne and begins to talk about Henrik, about her beloved dead mother and her very complicated and oppressive existence living with her father. A powerful contemporary drama about the struggle for power, liberation, and reconciliation.

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