Still from Ingmar Bergman's renowned 1957 film, The Seventh Seal, where a knight tries to stave off Death with a game of chess. Photo: SVENSK FILMINDUSTRI

Cultural journalist: Bergman Week still important

"The week is important to mark the great Bergman legacy..."
7:57 min

Legendary Swedish film director, Ingmar Bergman, may have lost his personal chess game to Death four years ago, but his legacy lives on during Bergman Week. The annual celebration wrapped up Sunday on the Swedish Baltic island of Fårö, where Bergman lived and worked.

"We have a tendency to underestimate the value or importance of our national treasured heros, and I think we must nip that in the bud in the Bergman case, because obviously, Bergman was one of our national great poets, artists," says Swedish Radio cultural journalist, Ludwig Josefsson, who had a close boyhood connection to the late, world-famous Swedish stage and film director, Ingmar Bergman. Josefsson says, therefore, that Bergman Week is important.

The international event takes place each year as a tribute to the Oscar-winning film director who helped put little Sweden on the global cinema map.

Ingmar Bergman's films, film scripts, theatre productions and radio theatre all made the subjects of discussions and screenings during the annual Bergman Week, much taking place at Bergman's once-secluded home on Fårö, just off the larger Baltic island of Gotland.

This is where Bergman lived the last years of his life after coming there in 1960 - looking for a rugged setting for his film "Through a Glass Darkly" and shooting other films there as well.

Some feared that after Bergman's death on the island in 2007, his home would be sold to private buyers - bringing down the curtain on a major contribution to this small Nordic nation's international legacy. But instead a foundation took over, devoting the Bergman home to Swedish and foreign cultural visitors and a Bergman Center on Fårö.

One of the international guests this year at Bergman Week was Hungarian film director István Szabó whose Oscar-winning "Mephisto" described the moral corruption and seduction of an ego-driven artist seeking fame in a brutal dictatorship.

The Hungarian director had close ties with Bergman and was the only foreign visitor allowed to come to the shootings of Bergman's last film for the cinema, "Fanny and Alexander".

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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