Cinema buffs take note: Liv and Ingmar provides a fascinating look at the 42-year relationship between actress Liv Ullmann and Swedish director Ingmar Bergman.

Liv Ingmar Documentary at VIFF

Directed by Dheeraj Akolkar, the film traces their relationship through the various stages of love, loneliness, happiness, anger and more, with Ullmann reading out love letters and her diaries of their time together. The film sidesteps any mythologizing of Bergman and provides insight into how Ullmann dealt with his rages and being secluded on Faro Island with him. The film paints Bergman with a fair hand, as Ullmann notes that she is constantly asked about their work together because they brought out the best work in each other.

The director uses clips from their films to suggest Ullmann’s fragility and psyche at the time. This was interesting, but tends to wear on you a bit after seeing more than enough of Shame or Persona at every given interval. However the stunning cinematography by Hallvard Bræn captures Faro Island beautifully and gives a sense of a home away from the world. It’s a knowing nod to Bergman when Akolkar utilizes so many loving closeups of Ullmann, who looks even more gorgeous with age. Bergman said, “You are my Stradivarius” to Ullmann, which acknowledges her importance and support in his art and recognition as an auteur.

Catch Liv and Ingmar at the Vancouver International Film Festival from September 27 to October 12, 2013.


Story By: Rumnique Nannar  |  Photography Courtesy: VIFF