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Old Movies You Should Have Seen by Now: Persona



Director: Ingmar Bergman

Principal Actors: Bibi Andersson, Liv Ullmann



Gut-level Take

Sometimes it’s exhausting being yourself. Or knowing who your self should be.

Basic Plot

Liv Ullmann plays an actress who stops talking. By choice? Psychosomatic illness? Bibi Andersson plays the nurse assigned as her caretaker as she convalesces at a seaside cottage.


  • Short hair vs long hair
  • Introverts in the spotlight will eventually snap
  • Spend enough time around someone else, and you’ll start acting like them
  • You’re more transparent than you realize
  • Not all women want to be mothers
  • The tyranny of the beautiful
  • Silence is a potent weapon

Unexpected Awesomeness

  • Minimalistic Swedish 60s wardrobe. You will want to wear dark turtlenecks and stare meaningfully out to sea.
  • Sven Nykvist. Sven Nykvist. Sven Nykvist. Cinematography that will make you wish more films were made in B&W.
  • Seeing the stylistic origins of Stardust Memories.
  • The film gets better in retrospect. I didn’t enjoy watching it. But afterwards, after thinking about it, it became a good film.