Persona (1966)



Critic Consensus: Arguably Bergman's finest film, Persona explores the human condition with intense curiosity, immense technical skill, and beguiling warmth.

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Movie Info

An actress recovering from a mental breakdown develops an intense relationship with her nurse in this modernist, self-reflexive psychodrama.
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Criterion Collection

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Bibi Andersson
as Alma, The Nurse
Liv Ullmann
as Elisabeth Vogler, The Actress
Margaretha Krook
as The Doctor
Gunnar Bjornstrand
as Mr. Vogler

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Critic Reviews for Persona

All Critics (43) | Top Critics (10)

[Bergman] gives us a movie within a movie, but he seems hardly to have made the enclosing movie, and then he throws away the inner one.

Full Review… | April 7, 2016
New Yorker
Top Critic

One of the screen's supreme works and perhaps Ingmar Bergman's finest film.

Full Review… | July 23, 2013
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

[A] masterpiece.

Full Review… | July 23, 2013
Village Voice
Top Critic

Bergman blends a theatrical subjectivity with a tactile visual intimacy, with his characters, the objects close at hand, and the superb coastal landscape.

Full Review… | July 23, 2013
New Yorker
Top Critic

Director Ingmar Bergman is modern cinema's most persistent observer of the human condition.

Full Review… | July 23, 2013
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Ingmar Bergman's best film, I suppose, though it's still fairly tedious and overloaded with avant-garde cliches.

Full Review… | July 30, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Persona

A nurse takes care of an actress who has decided to stop talking, and after confessing her guilty secrets to the silent woman she finds her own persona starting to blur into the other woman's. A strange and mysterious psychoanalytical horror film; Ingmar Bergman paints the self as a very scary place you wouldn't want to visit.

Greg S
Greg S

Super Reviewer

An interesting look into mental health that twists and turns around the main question of 'who is who' and 'what makes me'. Brilliant performances from both stars.

Sophie Burgess
Sophie Burgess

Super Reviewer

A troubled nurse treats a successful actress who has stopped speaking. Ingmar Bergman doesn't shy away from the big issues. Persona's characters encounter the existence/relevance of God, fear of death, motherhood, the impossibility of human connection, and the struggles artists must undergo in order to maintain a sense of selfhood despite their profession's pressures. And in most film and literature, it's usually men who undertake these questions, but 90% of Persona depicts two women coming to terms with such grand, philosophical issues, which is ground-breaking even though it shouldn't be. Most of the film is profound without being avant garde for avant garde's sake with several notable exceptions like the very beginning and parts of the denouement, and thus, most of the film is accessible and thought-provoking. I can't say that there is anything revolutionary or that the film comes to a unique conclusion about the grand questions it encounters, but the very fact that Bergman explores the nature of being raises film to a stature enjoyed by few other art forms. Overall, Bergman is one of serious intellectual film's masters, more accessible than Godard and more interesting than Fellini, and Persona is one of his masterpieces.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

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