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Ingmar Bergman's 1957 Film, "Wild Strawberries"


Ingmar Bergman’s “Wild Strawberries” is a 1957 Swedish drama film where viewers were struggling to determine between reality and fantasy with the main character, Professor Borg, who is in love with his childhood sweetheart, Sara, that he is unable to have. This was likely done intentionally because the main character also struggled with his personal life and Bergman creatively blended in the differences into the plot of the film which makes it more interesting to watch. This film holds a Freudian perspective that Professor Borg was allowing these dream sequences to influence his behavior in the real world.


This film was overall dark from the very beginning where Professor Borg sees someone in a coffin with their hand hanging out. The closer Professor Borg gets the hand grabs him and it is revealed that the man in the coffin is him and tries to drag him into the coffin. Bergman does a great job of setting up the tone of the film to show that Professor Borg is a disturbed man. In real life, Bergman had a rough life and during this time his third marriage was breaking away and had a hard time getting along with his parents, which connects to this story’s plot. In this story, Bergman does an amazing job connecting to the characters which is most likely due to his personal experience in life. It is understood that he had a rough upbringing and was going through dark time when creating this film. He wrote this in two months while he was in the hospital writing this screenplay, was going through a divorce, and having a difficult time getting along with his current girlfriend at the time.


Although this film appeared to be depressing, it was enlightening to find out there is more to this film’s delivery, and it is easy to be impressed with how the characters were developed as well as how the overall film was portrayed. From the beginning, the body language between all the characters gave a clear image that they either are having a lot of fun or being very miserable. It was later revealed in the film that the uplifting moments throughout the film were all dream sequences, which was hard to differentiate between at first. It appears that the intention was likely to stun the viewers of what the possible outcome of the story will be.


During some of the dream sequences, there was a shot of birds obnoxiously crowing and flying in the sky, which likely symbolized that something bad or miserable is going to happen. Bergman successfully captured the feelings of Professor Borg by using lighting in the dream sequences such as sunlight versus darkness. In this dream sequence, he views Sara in an unusual way where she is very stern with him, and this makes him sad and confused. It was powerful for Bergman to choose that Sara would marry not just any man, but Professor Borg’s brother which makes this so much harder for him to accept because he will always be reminded of her since she would now be in the family. In conclusion, Bergman used the music in such a way that it delivers the mood and emotions perfectly.

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