katrinaolson.ca - KO Review of Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words (CUFF.Docs 2015)

Posted on Monday, November 09, 2015 at 03:00 PM

KO Review: Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words

Review by Katrina Olson-Mottahed x CalgaryMovies.com

A KO Review by Emily Mody

Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words, directed by Stig Björkman, is a documentary/biography of the life of Ingrid Bergman. The film is cut together utilizing home video that she had filmed, as well as letters and diary entries that she had written. The film explores her whole life from the time she was born (this was video or photographs taken by her father), through the loss of her mother and father, her rise and fall from stardom, and her various love affairs, two of which resulted in children. The film has a very romantic and nostalgic effect on the viewer. It left me feeling somewhat melancholy, thinking about the importance of memories in our lives and how quickly time can pass.

I think being a cinema lover and having a good understanding of film in general, made me have a different appreciation for this film. Ingrid Bergman is one of the most celebrated actresses in America and because of this, she was very influential on filmmaking. I found it surprising, at times, how much I enjoyed this film because I try very hard not to judge celebrities based on their private lives. I think, like Bergman expresses in the film, that the public should not be concerned with what celebrities do in their private lives but rather judge them based on the work that they produce. If you do not enjoy the work that the particular individual has produced then that is fine, you do not have to watch it or engage with it. To completely disregard someone’s work based solely on something you have heard about him or her is somewhat silly to me.

With that being said, I was very happy to find, that although she was often described by the people who knew her as being painfully shy, she was not ashamed of who she was in any way. She fell in love and out of love and left her children to be cared for by other people for most of their lives, but she never regretted anything. She was so deeply passionate about acting and making an identity for herself, as Isabella Rossellini (one of Bergman’s daughters) stated in the film. She strived so hard to make her dreams come true and her children saw that passion and garnered respect for it. The children never resented their mother, they only wished they could have more of her. Due to this I was pleasantly surprised to see the truly feminist aspect to this film that I was not expecting.

I would recommend this film to anyone who is interested in a story about a strong woman who is comfortable as she is and is not willing to sacrifice her hopes and dreams to serve the needs of others. You do not necessarily have to be an Ingrid Bergman fan to enjoy this film. The story stands on it’s own as a beautifully imperfect and very human portrayal of a woman trying to make sense of her life.

See Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words at Calgary Underground Film Festival's CUFF.Docs 2015 on Saturday November 21, 2015 at 2:00 PM at the Globe Cinema, Calgary.

Calgary Showtimes: Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words >


NOTE: The showtimes listed on CalgaryMovies.com come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to CalgaryMovies.com.