Best Movies by Farr
Persona Poster
Released Runtime Category
1966 83 Drama, The Criterion Collection
Director Language
Ingmar Bergman Swedish
Actors
Liv Ullmann, Bibi Andersson, Gunnar Björnstrand

Persona

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What's it About

After actress Elizabeth Vogler (Ullmann) is struck dumb in the middle of a performance, she accompanies private nurse Alma (Andersson) to her doctor's seaside cottage in order to recuperate. Gradually, Elizabeth's verbal paralysis compels Alma to open up to her patient about her own troubles. As reality merges with fantasy, one woman's persona seems to meld with the other, making it hard to tell who's the patient and who's the caregiver.

Why we love it

One of the director's more surreal, experimental works, "Persona" is an intriguing study of mental illness, role reversal, and the somewhat hazy boundary separating one individual identity from another. In the poetic opening shots culled from old reels, Bergman makes us aware we are watching a film, but the story itself derives emotional intensity from Bibi Andersson's Alma, who becomes ever more vulnerable the deeper she plumbs her life experience. "Persona" is a spooky, mind-bending film that casts a unique spell.

BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"