Movie review: ‘Ingrid Bergman in Her Own Words’

Ingrid Bergman in ‘Casablanca’
Ingrid Bergman in ‘Casablanca’ Associated Press

The Hollywood dramas that earned Swedish superstar Ingrid Bergman three Academy Awards weren’t her only breakthrough films. An irresistible screen presence, she lit up newsreels, paparazzi cinema, interview footage and home movies, too.

Director Stig Bjorkman draws on all those rarely seen archival resources for this touching biographic documentary, an appreciation of a remarkable artist, woman and individual. Approved by her family and featuring her four children, with a strong focus on Isabella Rossellini and Pia Lindstrom, the film follows Bergman across her driven career, her personal life, the tug of war between the two and the relationships that caused trauma in both worlds.

Reflecting the title, Sweden’s current rising star Alicia Vikander reads from Bergman’s candid diary passages and her emotional letters to close friends.

International film stars of today usually defend their privacy at all costs. Bjorkman’s film presents Bergman’s life in intimate detail.

The actress, who scandalized Puritan gossips in the 1950s through her affairs with film directors and masterful war photographer Robert Capa, lived in front of the lens because she believed that “love came through the camera.” Bjorkman’s view of the hardworking, free-spirited actress reminds us how right she was.

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Ingrid Bergman In Her Own Words


Director: Stig Bjorkman

Cast: Ingrid Bergman, Alicia Vikander

Rated: Unrated (suitable for all ages)

Running time: 114 min.