Production Company: Sveriges Television
Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
Cast: Liv Ullmann as Marianne, Erland Josephson as Johan, Börje Ahlstedt as Henrik, Julia Dufvenius as Karin and Gunnel Fred as Martha
Crew: Ingmar Bergman (writer and director)
Marianne (Liv Ullman), some thirty years after divorcing Johan (Erland Josephson), decides to visit her ex-husband at his summer home. She arrives in the middle of a family drama between Johan’s son from another marriage and his granddaughter.
In Saraband, Marianne and Johan meet again after thirty years without contact, when Marianne suddenly feels a need to see her ex-husband again. She decides to visit Johan at his old summer house in the western province of Dalarna. And so, one beautiful autumn day, there she is, beside his reclining chair, waking him with a light kiss.
Also living at the summer house are Johan’s son Henrik and Henrik’s daughter Karin. Henrik is giving his daughter cello lessons and already sees her future as staked out. Relations between father and son are very strained, but both are protective of Karin. They are all still mourning Anna, Henrik’s much-loved wife, who died two years ago, yet who, in many ways, remains present among them. Marianne soon realizes that things are not all as they should be, and she finds herself unwillingly drawn into a complicated and upsetting power struggle.
"Saraband can be seen as a concerto grosso, a concert for full orchestra – only, here, with four soloists," says Ingmar Bergman. "The drama consists of ten dialogues that follow a particular pattern, and it’s an attempt at analysis of a difficult situation."
A saraband was an erotic dance for two that was very popular at royal courts in the 17th and 18th centuries. But it was prohibited in Spain as being indecent.
Film Fetish trivia:
Ingmar Bergman was invited to attend both the film festivals in Cannes and Venice in 2003, but snubbed both because he was not able to finish editing the theatrical release of the film in time for either of them.
Ingmar Bergman said that Saraband was his last work, in an interview on Swedish TV.
The title Saraband, comes from cello suites composed by Bach, which are dances dance for couples. The film follows the shape of the dance, with a couple in a conversation that can be described as the dance.
Official Websites: sonyclassics.com
Trailers coming soon
Release Dates: October 15, 2004 / NY Film Fetival / JULY 8, 2005 / LIMITED U.S.