This four-day event was organized by the Embassy of Sweden to Bosnia and Herzegovina, in cooperation with the Swedish Institute and the Obala Art Center. The audience was provided with a chance to gain insight into Ingmar Bergman’s life and career at an exhibition dedicated to his 60 movies, 172 theater productions and approximately 300 writings, as well as through an interactive movie installation comprised of his 32 rare video clips.
The marking of 100 years since Bergman’s birth kicked off with a lecture by Swedish journalist specialized in culture Anna Håkansson on the topic ‘Bergman and Gender’. The lecture focused on the recurring portrayal of women in the movies directed by Bergman and the use of transgressive characters moving not only in a border landscape between the sexes but also between life and death, reality and fiction. Håkansson particularly emphasized that Bergman’s work dealt with universal, timeless issues that characterize his overall creative opus, testifying to humanity in its various dimensions and depicting the human soul with the aim to contribute to better understanding of human nature.
Addressing the attendees at Håkansson’s lecture, Ambassador of Sweden to Bosnia and Herzegovina Anders Hagelberg reminded that Bergman had made a significant impact on the movie industry both on European and global scale. Specifying the importance of Bergman’s work for his homeland Sweden, the Ambassador said: “Bergman’s movies are strongly connected to Sweden and he had built the image of Sweden on the international scene with his movies”.
The audience had the chance to see Bergman’s movies during the first three evenings, namely ‘Summer with Monika’ (1953), ‘Persona’ (1966), and ‘Autumn Sonata’ (1978), as well as a documentary on his life entitled ‘Bergman Island’ (2006) that formally closed the event.
Bergman has become a symbol of existential, philosophical relationship drama, although he was not exclusive in directing this kind of movies, and his unique style is known for the symbiotic unity of ‘classic’ and ‘modern’ elements in terms of narrative and figures of speech. He is also considered to be a revolutionary of his time, with a sexual freedom in his movies that went against the vastly conservative beliefs of the 20th century.
His work is sometimes initially perceived as dark and pessimistic, but it in fact stands outside the mainstream. Specifically, he had a realistic approach to exploring human nature deep under the surface, questioning the morality of human relationships that is marked by a predominantly secular point of view, including towards God.