Persona 1966 Criterion Collection
One of Ingmar Bergman's most complex films, Persona on the surface appears simple and accessible. Bergman called it "a sonata for two instruments." It begins with film leader being projected, then comic bits from silent film, followed by more disturbing images: a spider, a nail driven through a hand, corpses in a morgue. The final images leading into the film's story are of one woman's face turning into another's. Liv Ullmann plays Elisabeth, an actress who has stopped speaking in the middle of a performance. Her doctor sends her to a remote seaside cottage, where she's cared for by a loquacious nurse, Alma (Bibi Andersson). Gradually, the two women, who resemble each other physically, begin to assume each other's identities. The title, a Latin word, refers both to the masks worn by actors in classical drama, and to a term used by psychologist Carl Jung to describe an artificial personality used to hide the real self. Persona has been much discussed and interpreted since its release, but Bergman himself refused to elucidate, writing in the preface to the published screenplay, "On many points I am unsure, and in one instance, at least, I know nothing."

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Cast: Bibi Andersson, Liv Ullmann, Margaretha Krook
Country: Sweden
Genre: Drama, Thriller

BD50 + 2xDVD | 1080p AVC, NTSC | 01:24:04 | 44.1 Gb + 11.8 Gb + 3% rec
Language: Svenska
Subtitles: English


Persona's Prologue: A Poem in Images - new visual essay by Ingmar Bergman scholar Peter Cowie. The essay was produced exclusively for Criterion in 2013. In English, not subtitled. (21 min, 1080p).

Interviews - two archival and two brand new interviews.

1. Bibi Andersson, Ingmar Bergman, and Liv Ullmann - in this excerpt from an interview originally recorded for Swedish television in 1966, the legendary Swedish director and the two stars of Persona share their interpretations of the film. (The Swedish director notes that Persona is not a film that should be understood, but rather experienced emotionally). In Swedish, with optional English subtitles. (20 min, 1080p).

2. Ingmar Bergman - in this excerpt from an interview recorded for Canadian television in 1970, the director of Persona explains how the idea for the film came to him. Ingmar Bergman also discusses the notion of existing and its ability to depress human beings. In English, not subtitled. (9 min, 1080p).

3. Liv Ullmann - in this new video interview, the great Norwegian actress discusses her contribution to Persona and the film's unique themes, and explains how the film changed her life. Included with the interview are various archival clips from the shooting of Persona. The interview was conducted exclusively for Criterion in 2013. In English, not subtitled. (17 min, 1080p).

4. Paul Schrader - in this new video interview, writer/director Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver, American Gigolo), an admirer of the Swedish director's work, discusses Persona and its place in the annals of film history. The interview was conducted exclusively for Criterion in 2013. In English, not subtitled. (11 min, 1080p).

On-set Footage - silent black-and-white footage shot during the production of Persona in the Swedish countryside. The footage is presented with an audio commentary by Ingmar Bergman scholar Birgitta Steene. In English, not subtitled. (19 min, 1080p).

Liv & Ingmar - Dheeraj Akolkar's 2012 documentary film is presented in 1080p and with an English Dolby Digital 5.1 track, with optional English subtitles (85 min).

Trailer - original English-language trailer for Ingmar Bergman's Persona. Not subtitled. (3 min, 1080p).