In 1782, a young nobleman (Per Oscarsson) returns after studying abroad and reunites with his sister (Bibi Andersson), who’s getting married… but their suppressed, forbidden feelings for each other are awakened. Inspired by a 17th-century play by John Ford, Vilgot Sjöman made perhaps his most Bergman-esque film, recognizable in the way the actors’ faces are used to great emotional effect and in the way dialogue becomes a sharp weapon in naked confrontations, especially between the incestuous siblings and when Charlotte’s husband (a fiery Jarl Kulle) begins to figure out what’s going on. Dark and disturbing, with a great cast.
1966-Sweden. 96 min. B/W. Produced by Göran Lindgren. Written and directed by Vilgot Sjöman. Cinematography: Lasse Björne. Cast: Jarl Kulle (Carl Ulrik Alsmeden), Bibi Andersson (Charlotte), Per Oscarsson (Jacob), Gunnar Björnstrand, Tina Hedström, Berta Hall… Sonya Hedenbratt, Kjerstin Dellert, Lasse Pöysti, Sven Hedlund, Agneta Ekmanner.
Trivia: Original title: Syskonbädd 1782. Max von Sydow was considered for one of the lead roles.
Last word: “I had made four films, the last being My Sister, My Love, which, I felt, had led me into a dead end. With My Sister, My Love I was trying to do a well-made play, translated into cinematic terms […] Sort of beautiful lines and structure, in the period style that Bergman had invented for Swedish film. How do you deal with modern problems in costume? You have the Seventh Seal and others like it. So My Sister, My Love was really an exercise in his school. Although I think that the film had some feeling and emotions which were personal and not Bergman’s, it was that school and that tradition I had to break out of.” (Sjöman, Criterion)