Thursday, June 7, 2007

Shame (1968)

Directed by Ingmar Bergman. Starring Liv Ullmann, Max Von Sydow, and Gunnar Bjornstrand.

I consider myself a Bergman fan, and out of all his classics this is, in my opinion, his best work. Ullmann and Von Sydow play a married couple living on a remote Swedish island, going about their daily lives and contemplating having a child. However, when the island is bombed in an air raid, their lives are thrown into upheaval- both of them are taken in for questioning about possible collaboration with the enemy, and even after they are acquitted soldiers from both sides storm their home. But the key to the film is the way the war stirs up the long-buried secrets and resentments which have been sublimated in peacetime so that the marriage can function smoothly, especially when Von Sydow's casualness turns (in his wife's eyes) into cowardice. I'm not a big fan of the typical war film (particularly not the combat subgenre), but when I see the effect war has on everyday lives far from the traditional fields of battle, I can't help but be moved, and SHAME is in my opinion the best example of this.

No comments: