in about 100 words or less
Sweden 84m, B&W
Director: Ingmar Bergman; Cast: Bibi Andersson
Persona is a drama about a relationship between a young nurse, Alma, and her patient Elisabet, a well-known actress who inexplicably stopped talking. What ensues is essentially a long monologue by Alma who finds comfort in revealing her personal life to her mute, but attentive patient. Together, they develop an increasingly close and dependent relationship which suggests that they become one in the same person, at least in one or more of their minds. As a surreal exploration of identity, this is one of Bergman’s most challenging and memorable films. Stylistically, its unusual format, stark appearance and visual effects have made it both highly influential and widely parodied (Klaus Ming April 2016).