Documentarian and writer Stig Björkman offers an intimate look at one of the most famous movie stars ever, using her private diary notes and film recordings of life with her family – or families, rather, since Ingrid Bergman’s incurable restlessness was a defining part of her personality. Meeting her adult children, all four of them, including Isabella Rossellini, and hearing them talk about their experiences of Bergman is fascinating because of how refreshingly perceptive and forgiving they are. Her diary entries also reveal a person of ambition, longing to grasp as much of the world as she can. The film skilfully balances Bergman’s career and personal life, varying the home movies with well-selected clips from her films and news footage, illustrating not only the “scandals” but a sense of humor and immense charm.
2015-Sweden. 114 min. Color-B/W. Produced by Stina Gardell. Directed by Stig Björkman. Music: Michael Nyman. Song: “Filmen om oss” (performed by Eva Dahlgren).
Trivia: Original title: Jag är Ingrid. Sigourney Weaver and Liv Ullmann are interviewed in the film. Alicia Vikander is Bergman’s voice from the diaries. Dahlgren also contributed some of the super 8 footage seen in the film.
Last word: “It all started in Berlin, four and a half years ago. There was a big Ingmar Bergman exhibition and I was there with Harriet Andersson to talk about Ingmar. Isabella [Rossellini, daughter to Ingrid Bergman and Roberto Rossellini] was also at the Berlinale as President of the jury. One evening Harriet and I were having dinner and Isabella joined us. She sat next to me, suddenly turned to me and said:…’shall we make a film about mamma???’ I said YES! That’s how it started. Later on I met with Ingrid’s children, Pia Lindström, and Isabella’s two siblings Roberto and Ingrid. They all gave me full access to Ingrid’s archive material stored at the Wesleyan University in Connecticut.” (Björkman, Nordisk film & TV fond)