Persona (the ancient Latin word for mask) is too deliberately difficult to rank with Bergman's best. But in an era when the director who dares to repeat himself is rare indeed—when the cinematic world is full of one-shot wonders, Bergman's consistency is itself refreshing.
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What are critics saying?
Ingmar Bergman's best film, I suppose, though it's still fairly tedious and overloaded with avant-garde cliches.
Wonderfully complex but warmly human, Bergman's drama is one of his very best.
It explores two of the filmmaker’s pet themes – the impossibility of true communication, the futility of art – and is set against the Vietnam War. Extraordinary.
One of the screen's supreme works and perhaps Ingmar Bergman's finest film, "Persona" is also his most radical in form and technique.
Persona is a film to make you shiver with fascination, or incomprehension, or desire.
Bergman blends a theatrical subjectivity—scenes of the inner life that defy physical reality and depend on special effects, whether in the film lab or on set—with a tactile visual intimacy, with his characters, the objects close at hand, and the superb coastal landscape.
Persona is a film we return to over the years, for the beauty of its images and because we hope to understand its mysteries.
Persona feels like an act of disclosure on Bergman’s part, with him pulling back the curtain to acknowledge the fantasy of filmmaking and global realities that linger in his mind.