Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words (2015) - Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words (2015) - User Reviews - IMDb
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The Woman, not the Icon
ferguson-611 November 2015
Greetings again from the darkness. A seven time Oscar nominee and three time winner. One of the best known and most beloved actresses of all-time. Fifty year acting career. Died at age 67, mere weeks after her final performance. These are all bullet points to highlight Ingrid Bergman, the cinematic icon. However, documentarian (and fellow Swede) Stig Bjorkman pays little attention to the icon, and instead focuses on the woman.

What sets this apart from many biographical portraits is Bjorkman's access to Bergman's diaries, journals, personal letters, photos, home videos, and most importantly, interviews with her four children: Pia Lindstrom, Roberto Rossellini, and twins Isabella and Ingrid Rossellini. It's a treasure trove of memories, documentation and insight into a woman who lived life on her own terms … often in direct opposition to what societal norms dictate. The film neither defends nor celebrates her free spirit; it simply reports it and allows us to sit in judgment, should we be so inclined.

One of the best clips is young Ingrid's screen test where her natural beauty radiates on screen, and her expressive eyes make it obvious why David O Selznick recognized her star quality. But there are numerous other clips and photographs which show her mostly involved with her family … one of her husbands and some combination of her kids. Not fitting into the typical "motherly" box, Ingrid spent an enormous amount of time away from her kids as they were growing up. She clearly loved them very much, as evidenced by the words in her diaries and letters, and the visuals from their time together. And the interviews with her children today make it obvious they viewed her as a fun friend, rather than the nurturing mom.

Another aspect that is crystal clear is the ambition and drive possessed by Ingrid. She even states "no one can have everything", and her actions and words make it obvious that acting was what brought her to life – whether on screen or on stage. It never took long on the home front for her to feel the pull of her true adventurous nature, and soon enough she was back on a movie set … leaving the kids behind.

Specifics of her movie career are mostly glossed over. Casablanca has a quick segment, as does her time with Alfred Hitchcock. Instead, we get a broad perspective of the scandal that rocked the movie world … a pregnant Ingrid left her first husband (Petter Lindstrom) for her director-lover Roberto Rossellini. For the times, this was extreme impropriety and there were even boycotts of her films. No place was harder on her than the United States. Absolutely unapologetic and without remorse, Ingrid took her career to Europe. Ingrid and Roberto had three kids together, and since history has a way of repeating itself, it was only a matter of time before Roberto was with his pregnant girlfriend in India, and Ingrid moved on to producer Lars Schmidt (and his private island).

The most impact from the timeline comes courtesy of the four adult children as they recall the extended times away from their mother, followed by memorable and fun stints together. Of course, they have each had many years to come to terms with a mother who frequently chose pursuing her career dreams to spending time with them. Imagine having a mother who said "I belong more to the make-believe world of theatre and film". It can make you tough and independent, or it can have the opposite effect. We hear each of them discuss.

This is the wrong place to look for a career retrospective of Ingrid Bergman the actress, but it's an intimate and fascinating look at a woman who understood what was important to her, and refused to be ruled by societal expectations. Young Swedish actress Alicia Vikander provides voice-over for much of Ingrid's written word, but it's Ms. Bergman's actions and the insight from Pia, Roberto, Isabella and Ingrid that complete the full portrait of a most unusual woman. Ms. Bergman died in 1982 (age 67), just weeks after her final role in the TV movie "A Woman Called Golda"... a fitting portrait of another woman who lived life by her own rules.
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Ingrid Bergman as remembered today
fa799917 May 2016
I cannot disagree more with the post above. Notorious is a well regarded Hitchcock classic. It was Bergman's film and she gave the vest performance from any Hitch films. Journey to Italy is considered the first modern film, a major classic of cinema and hailed by such influential directors as Truffaut, Godard, Rohmer, Scorsese and of course Bazan. Bogie will not be a romantic idol without the radiant and luminous Bergman. Can you picture another major actress at that time in the role of Ilsa? All three films are on the list of Sight and Sound 2012 best films ever poll.

And there are still a large audience for films such as Gas light, spellbound, Anastasia and Autumn sonata.
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Ingrid and we have deserved much much more.
arne-ziebell12 September 2015
Ingrid Bergman – "In Her Own Words" (2015) Ingrid Bergman was a rare and brave woman, and she was of course a big and genuine actress of the very few who lived and died for art no matter the consequences for herself, her children and her husbands.

This documentary is not bad, but it's not successful either. The reason why is that the documentary is simply too private, it does not become interesting to a larger audience. It's mainly private film footage (8 and 16 mm) and diary quotations over and over again. And we see and listen to Ingrid's children telling the same – more or less – again and again, and not one single bad or negative thing is said about their mother. I was not convinced. The documentary runs for 114 minutes and sadly it feels like 228 minutes.

What have Stig Bjökman (the writer and director), Dominika Daubenbüchel and Stina Gardell been thinking about? This documentary would have been complete and beautifully put together IF it have had at least 3 blocks of montages with clips from Bergman's greatest parts. We got nearly 8 seconds from "Casablanca" and that was it!!! We should have SEEN and WATCHED Ingrid in Alfred Hitchcock's "Notorious" and "Spellbound" – not someone telling us about her acting in these movies! And we should have seen clips with Ingrid and Cary Copper in "For Whom the Bell Tolls" or seen Ingrid afraid to be insane in "Gaslight" or Ingrid together with Goldie Hawn in "Cactus Flower" – and I could go on and on! But we didn't. There's a saying that goes: "don't tell, show!" someone is this production should have whispered this saying to Stig Björkman.

It's not until the last 10 minutes that this documentary really speeds up and get's very interesting when we meet Sigourney Weaver, Isabella Rossellini and Liv Ullmann. Weaver recalls what it was like being on stage with Ingrid in her first professional job was as an understudy in Sir John Gielguds production of "The Constant Wife". Liv Ullmann is telling us about how Ingrid and Ingmar Bergman left the set when they were making "Autumn Sonata", because they could not agree on how a dialog should be. All on the set could still hear them quarrel very loudly. Bergman and Bergman came back, Ingmar got his will and they all continued. Now that would have been interesting to see and hear much more of, especially because the movie was about a mother abandon her children for the art.

What a shame, because Ingrid and we have deserved much much more.
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Play It, Sam
writers_reign21 August 2016
Warning: Spoilers
At the Screening I attended the audience were all on the sunny side of 60. In other words the chances are they'd seen their share of Bergman moves and/or owned several on DVD so that possibly, like myself, they welcomed this glimpse of the person rather than the usual 'and-then-she- made' that constitute so many documentaries of this ilk. It seems that only one out of the six that have so far written about the film misses this approach and surely the solution is simple enough; if you want to watch Bergman on screen run several dvds, there are sufficient available, meanwhile leave others to wallow in the home movies and diaries she kept. This is a film you can watch with a light dusting of tears in your eyes for the pleasure she has provided over the years.
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Ingrid Bergman has always made it so clear that she was able to live other lives, not even her children dared to take on the role of mother.
guedesnino15 June 2017
Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words, through her own title, wishes to give the main idea of ​​the documentary, besides a posthumous tribute made by the person who is alive, her desire is that the central figure (Bergman) Own and pictures too. Such images were, therefore, a confessable passion of the actress, who manifested herself as a child when her father recorded her daughter on a daily basis.

After her father's death, Ingrid continued the records on her own, altering only the order of her captures, it was she, who now assumed the records of various moments and of the various people she met in her life.

Directed by the Swedish Stig Björkman, the documentary partially fulfills its promise, and the reason is soon unattainable, since without the presence of Bergman to talk about his life and also by the focus that the actress directed his letters and his diary, almost was little About his career, about his work and what causes a certain astonishment, since this was notoriously his greatest pleasure and where he felt happier. His records were largely concerned with the death of his mother and his brothers at an early age, and of the only figure he had left, but also of his father. Then his records are focused on the love life followed by the life of the four children, these being, figures that add a great part and time in the writing of the actress.

Thus Bergman's words presented through a rich collection of images and home movies, is the strongest and most interesting element of the documentary, which extracts through interviews, archives and diaries of the Swedish star, the voice (own) Of the figure-character.

The lack of any significant research on performance styles is appreciably felt, particularly due to the very different methods of its principal directors: George Cukor, Alfred Hitchcock, Robert Rossellini, Jean Renoir, Stanley Donen, Ingmar Bergman. There is some slight personality analysis - she was led, she was shy, "love came through the lens of the camera," she was brave - and the four children painted an attractive portrait of her largely absent mother. However, the psychological depth, Bjorkman, maker of documentaries like "Ingmar Bergman" and "Lars von Trier", barely goes beyond the level of a portrait of the Channel Biography. As such, Bergman is actually very difficult to read, and we are drawn to it even more because of it.

With so much reference material at his disposal, Björkman can not overcome this mystery entirely, but what he does quite elegantly is to explore the mixed feelings of these four surviving children, all of which make it clear how fun it was and also give Light for the mother's felt absence at the desire of the actress in love with the craft.

Perhaps there is nothing radically new to those with some knowledge of Ingrid Bergman's story of many other biographical TV portraits, but this is still a worthy door-to-call for all the curious about one of the greatest icons of cinema.
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Private life or work
olastensson1331 August 2015
Icon is becoming an almost useless word. Therefore, it's good Stig Björkman puts his focus on Ingrid Bergman as a human, and let's face it, how many of her pictures are interesting today, except Autumn Sonata by Ingmar Bergman? Casablanca is a Bogart movie.

Many amateur clips. Her children talks about her mostly being somewhere else. The only one who shows some bitterness between the lines is the son.

But anyway this Stig Björkman focus doesn't really have the potential to make us something more than shallow watchers. A rather entertaining story, but the entertainment isn't enough. You miss the analysis.
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Just a very good documentary
Vonzy18 December 2015
There is not much to add if you know something about Ingrid Bergman before. She had a glamorous life in Hollywood but wanted some more, and met the director Rosselini from Italy and there was Love - and some movies.

After a decade in American films, she starred in Roberto Rossellini's Stromboli (1950), following the revelation that she was having an extramarital affair with the director. The affair and then marriage with Rossellini created a scandal in the US that forced her to remain in Europe for several years, when she made a successful Hollywood return in Anastasia (1956), for which she won her second Academy Award

There is so much to tell about her life so I recommend Wikipedia for a more complete story about her life.

During the time with Rosselini she was more or less banned from Hollywood.

Her first husband was Petter Lindström (1937–1950) Sweden

Roberto Rossellini (1950–1957) Italy

Lars Schmidt (1958–1975) Sweden

She died 29 August 1982 (aged 67) London, England Cause of death Breast cancer

She used to stay on a private island outside Fjällbacka on the Swedish west-coast, "Dannholmen" that I visited when I was a teen, but she was not at home, it's a very beautiful island/part of Sweden.

In the Swedish version there is Alicia Vikander that are the teller of this story, and she seems to be another well worthy Swedish actress export to Hollywood, but that is of course up to her.
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The lifestyle of Ingrid Bergman
CristianMiclaus13 September 2020
This documentary representing the life story of a great actress Ingrid Bergman, the tribute to her can be a life changing for you. Besides the glory and fame, her choices that may be for some to hardcore. Can you choose family over career? Can you have them both? Well the director Stig Björkman will take you on bits of her history and reveal some toughs thru the descriptions of Ingrid's four children. I would say this is an inspirational piece and the main point would be a career decision, presented by a true star of the cinema.
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Absorbing. It felt like entering a dream. We get a nuanced, complicated portrait of a luminous icon.
mehomehmedbasic28 August 2020
My thoughts about the film are the same as Isabella's about the correspondance; I thought there would be a story in here about a woman becoming a star in Hollywood, about struggle and cinema, but its just all children. Which would be fine, if not for Bergman's tendancy to shy away from thinking/writing about the negatives in that relationship, and once even from acting it out. Vague, but hypnotic.
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