Margarethe Von Trotta’s many personal connections to Ingmar Bergman lend a fresh, distinctive flavour to Searching For Ingmar Bergman. The documentary explores and champions Bergman’s artistic legacy but also captures a very human portrait of a complex man. Released in the year that marks the centenary of Bergman’s birth, the film is essential viewing for cinephiles […].
Von Trotta begins her search by recalling a cold, grey Paris in 1960 when she was dragged along to the cinema to watch Bergman’s The Seventh Seal. It was to prove formative in shaping her own aspirations as a filmmaker and marked the beginning of a lifelong connection to Bergman and his work. She came to know him during his time in Germany in the 1970s. When Bergman chose his eleven favourite films for the Goteborg Film Festival in 1994, alongside La Strada, Rashomon and his beloved The Phantom Carriage was Von Trotta’s The German Sisters (1981).
Everyone that Von Trotta meets and interviews has their own connection to Bergman whether as a family member, collaborator or admirer. Their testimony really serves to bring him alive as son Daniel Bergman cheerfully notes the contradictions in a man so attuned to the events in his own childhood yet so hopeless in dealing with his own children.
The documentary is a treasure trove of insight, telling details and great stories.
Allan Hunter, Screen Daily