- Rated: R
- Closed captioning available
- Run Time: 1 hours, 43 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: April 20, 2004
- Originally Released: 1968
- Label: MGM (Video & DVD)
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Special Edition
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
- Mono - English, Swedish
- Subtitles - English, French, Spanish, Swedish - Optional
- Additional Release Material:
- Audio Commentary: by Ingmar Bergman Biographer Marc Gervais
- On Camera Interview with Liv Ullmann
- Trailers: Original Theatrical Trailer
- Featurette: THE SEARCH FOR HUMANITY
- Text/Photo Galleries:
Performers, Cast and Crew:
In this powerful but excruciating drama, Liv Ullmann and Max Von Sydow play Eva and Jan Rosenberg, a married couple who have withdrawn to a farm on a remote island while their country is ravaged by a violent civil war. After the island is overrun by rebel troops, all hell breaks loose, and an attempt to escape from the war zone fails. Soon the need to survive brings out the worst in Eva and Jan, and their relationship suffers irrevocable damage. Using one couple's descent into moral corruption as an example, Ingmar Bergman shows how civility and society can break down under extreme conditions.
This stark drama takes place in an unnamed country torn apart by civil war. Liv Ullmann and Max Von Sydow play Eva and Jan Rosenberg, both former concert violinists who, ever since their orchestra was disbanded, have been working on a secluded farm to earn a living. When their area is invaded by rebel troops, the formerly beautiful landscape is transformed into a nightmare of death and destruction. (An unnerving nonmusical soundtrack consisting chiefly of rhythmic noise, explosions, and gunfire adds to this effect.) The Rosenbergs attempt to flee the war zone but instead are forced to participate in a fake propaganda interview conducted by the invading soldiers. Soon afterward, Eva and Jan are arrested for collaboration by the current regime, but a commanding officer takes a liking to them, and his friendship offers a momentary reprieve from persecution. The loving bond that once existed between the couple has been destroyed, however, by the trauma they have witnessed, and the title refers to the shameful acts of betrayal to which they subsequently succumb. With painfully realistic performances by Ullmann and Von Sydow, this film is undoubtedly among Bergman's bleakest but also offers a fascinating exploration of what it means to compromise one's fundamental ethical beliefs in order to ensure survival.
Essential Cinema |
Theatrical Release |
- Theatrical release: September 29, 1968 (Sweden).
- Filmed on location on the island of Farö, Sweden.
- Winner of the 1968 National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Film, Best Director, and Best Actress (Liv Ullmann).
- Winner of the 1969 Swedish Guldbagge Award for Best Actress (Liv Ullmann).