Wild Strawberries (film)

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Wild Strawberries (1957) is a Swedish film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman, about an old man recalling his past. The original Swedish title is Smultronstället, which literally means "the wild strawberry patch", but idiomatically means an underrated gem of a place (often with personal or sentimental value). The cast includes Victor Sjöström in his final screen performance, as well as Bergman regulars Bibi Andersson, Ingrid Thulin and Gunnar Björnstrand. Max von Sydow also appears in a small role. Bergman wrote the screenplay while hospitalized.[1] Because it tackles difficult questions about life, and thought-provoking themes such as self-discovery and human existence, the film is often considered to be one of Bergman's most emotional, optimistic and best films.[2]

Contents

Plot

Grouchy, stubborn, and egotistical Professor Isak Borg, a 78 year old widower, is an elderly physician. His medical and scientific specialty was bacteriology. Before specializing he served as general practitioner in rural Sweden. He sets out on a long car ride from Stockholm to Lund to receive the honorary degree Doctor Jubilaris 50 years after graduating from Lund University. Borg is accompanied by his pregnant daughter-in-law Marianne, who does not much like her cool father-in-law and is planning to separate from her husband, Evald, Isak's only son.

During the trip, Isak is forced by nightmares, daydreams, his old age, and his impending death to reevaluate his life. He meets a series of hitchhikers, each of whom set off dreams or reveries into Borg's troubled past. The first group consist of two men and a woman - adored by both men - named Sara, who is a double for Isak's love of his youth (and who is played by the same actress). They remained with him through out his journey. Next they pick up an embittered middle age couple who had just been in an auto accident. The pair exchange such a a terrible vitriol and venom that Marianne stops the car and asks them to leave. They remind Isak of his own life and unhappy marriage. He reminisces about his childhood in the seaside, his sweetheart Sara. He is confronted by his loneliness and aloofness, recognizing these traits both in his ancient mother and in his middle age physician son, and gradually advances towards acceptance of himself, his past, his present, and his soon-to-occur death.[3][4][5]

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