Synopsis by Nathan Southern
As the final masterwork of Ingmar Bergman, the world's most revered cinematic craftsperson, Saraband embodies the sequel to the director's five-hour Scenes from a Marriage, produced and directed 30 years after that original epic. Here, Bergman revisits the two characters from that film, divorcees Johan (Erland Josephson) and Marianne (Liv Ullmann), after years of estrangement from one another. Marianne now lives alone; of her two middle-aged daughters from the marriage to Johan, one lives in Australia, while the other suffered a mental breakdown. Marianne has contact with neither. After leafing through an assemblage of old photographs and waxing nostalgic, Marianne decides to revisit the now-wealthy Johan, who lives in the country with an adjoining cottage and two descendants: his 61-year-old widower son, Henrik (Börje Ahlstedt of I Am Curious (Yellow)), and Henrik's 19-year-old daughter, Karin (Julia Dufvenius). The relationships in Johan's family are broken and deeply dysfunctional: Johan resents Henrik, whom he perceives as worthless in every capacity other than fatherhood; Henrik resents Johan for his niggardly attitudes about his wealth; Karin feels bound by familial shackles and yearns to escape the confines of the life that ensnares her, ultimately hoping to move to the city and pursue her dream of becoming a cellist. Bergman uses the central narrative to examine how parents can damage one another by wielding the demands of their own selfish egos and refusing to grant joy and contentment to themselves or their children.
cottage, divorce, Summer, summer-vacation, vacation