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Persona

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Movie Info & Cast

Synopsis

An actress recovering from a mental breakdown develops an intense relationship with her nurse in this modernist, self-reflexive psychodrama.

Cast

  • Bibi Andersson
  • Liv Ullmann
  • Margaretha Krook
  • Gunnar Björnstrand
  • Jörgen Lindström

Did You Know?

Trivia

  • The name of Bibi Andersson's character "Alma" is Spanish and Portuguese for "soul".
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Quotes

    • The Doctor: I understand, all right. The hopeless dream of being - not seeming, but being. At every waking moment, alert. The gulf between what you are with others and what you are alone. The vertigo and the constant hunger to be exposed, to be seen through, perhaps even wiped out. Every inflection and every gesture a lie, every smile a grimace. Suicide? No, too vulgar. But you can refuse to move, refuse to talk, so that you don't have to lie. You can shut yourself in. Then you needn't play any parts or make wrong gestures. Or so you thought. But reality is diabolical. Your hiding place isn't watertight. Life trickles in from the outside, and you're forced to react. No one asks if it is true or false, if you're genuine or just a sham. Such things matter only in the theatre, and hardly there either. I understand why you don't speak, why you don't move, why you've created a part for yourself out of apathy. I understand. I admire. You should go on with this part until it is played out, until it loses interest for you. Then you can leave it, just as you've left your other parts one by one.
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Atom User Reviews

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Metacritic

100

Persona is a film we return to over the years, for the beauty of its images and because we hope to understand its mysteries.

Metacritic review by Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
100

One of the screen's supreme works and perhaps Ingmar Bergman's finest film, Persona is also his most radical in form and technique.

Metacritic review by Michael Wilmington
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
88

Arguably the most rewarding aspect of Persona is its rewatchability. The movie’s themes are so complex and deeply buried that it offers something new each time it is seen. Like a Rorschach test, one’s interpretation says more about the person offering the opinion than the film itself.

Metacritic review by James Berardinelli
James Berardinelli
ReelViews