Shame (1968)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Marriage Drama  |   Release Date - Sep 29, 1968 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 103 min.  |   Countries - Sweden  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Synopsis by Tom Wiener

Shame is grand master Ingmar Bergman's bitter and unsparing condemnation of war - all war, regardless of which side one chooses. The story begins with two ex-musicians, Eva and Jan Rosenberg (Liv Ullmann and Max von Sydow, respectively) peacefully inhabiting a weathered house where they grow fruits and vegetables. The residence is located on a desolate, arid island in some unspecified geographic location. Many items in The Rosenbergs' house, such as the radio, aren't functioning properly, and an explosive conflict transpires in the distance. (To avoid being ideologically pigeonholed, Bergman avoids identifying either side of the struggle or the reasons for the conflict itself). The Rosenbergs remain aloof, detached and geographically removed from the struggle, but little by little, over time, various elements of the war seep into the couples' lives and force their involvement. The tumult first sets in when jet planes roar over the house; then a parachutist gets killed and soldiers turn up at the Rosenberg residence. Finally, Eva and Jan get forcibly interrogated and incarcerated. Following the complete obliteration of the Rosenberg house, Eva has sex with one of the military leaders, Colonel Jacobi (Gunnar Bjornstrand) for unspecified reasons. Although Bergman never explicitly makes it clear if Jan witnesses this, he does deliberately conceal money that he could have easily used to buy Jacobi's freedom from the other side. As the heart-wrenching tale rolls forward, circumstances force The Rosenbergs into a face-to-face confrontation with their own identities and emotions.



battle [war], civilian, escape, husband, invasion, killing, morals, music, sexual-assault, soldier, survivor, wife


High Artistic Quality, High Historical Importance