Synopsis by Nathan Southern
In 1982, Ingmar Bergman emerged with one of his most singularly acclaimed films - a work that dramatically broke away from much of the moody psychodrama that characterized such earlier motion pictures as Cries & Whispers and Hour of the Wolf. Entitled Fanny and Alexander, and originally intended as the director's "swan song," this epic plunges into the life of a theatrical family named the Ekdahls, in turn-of-the-century Sweden. Bergman filters life through the eyes of the two titular Ekdahl children (Pernilla Alwin and Bertil Guve), as they come of age, lose their father unexpectedly, and must contend with their mother's remarriage to an uncaring, dictatorial clergyman from whom there seems to be no escape. Instantly hailed as a masterpiece, Fanny won a slew of international awards, including four Oscars. Yet curiously, the three-hour theatrical version seen in the U.S. did not represent the full depth and breadth of Bergman's vision. He also prepared a five-hour version for Swedish television, one that ran locally as a miniseries in 1984, in four separate installments. The extended running time gives the director to further develop and flesh out his characters, substories and themes, and will thus strike many fans of the original film as a remarkable discovery.
childhood, family, sibling