Ingrid Bergman in Her Own Words

Synopsis: In spring 2011, director Stig Björkman meets Ingrid Bergman's daughter Isabella Rossellini and she suggests him to "make a film about Mama". Through Isabella, Stig is able to tell Ingrid's story through her own words and images. Seven time Academy Award-nominee and three time Academy Award-winner Ingrid Bergman was one of the most talented actresses of Hollywood's Golden Age with great performances in films such as CASABLANCA (1942), GASLIGHT (1944) and and AUTUMN SONATA (1978). Through never-before-seen private footage, notes, letters, diaries and interviews with her children, this documentary presents a personal portrait and captivating look behind the scenes of the remarkable life of a young Swedish girl who became one of the most celebrated actresses of American and World cinema.
Director(s): Stig Björkman
Production: Mantaray Film AB
  2 wins & 3 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
114 min

April, 1928.

My God, help Dad.

Dear God, you can do anything.

So please make Dad well.

Make me calm.

God, I beg you, help me.

And make Dad well.

God in heaven,



In ten minutes, it will be 11:30 PM.

All the candles are burning.

Everything is so beautiful.

I feel sad.

I want to write everything down

that happened to me in 1929.

I didn't do well at school.

Failed three subjects.

Dad fell sick.

I traveled alone to my aunt in Germany.

And Dad died.

My friend Maude died. Grandpa died.

Uncle Amandus, Aunt Jenny

and a cousin died in an accident.

That's all I remember.

All I wish for now is a happier new year.

What will the new year bring?

New York...

I am Ingrid.

This is my story.

Looking back on my life, who will I see?

What will be left?

I've always saved everything.

Filled all kinds of boxes and suitcases.

So I'll always have my memories with me.

Well, I started off in Sweden.

Then I came to America.

My American period

was ten years in Hollywood.

Then I went to Italy

eight years in Italy.

Then I went to Paris

and lived there for 20 years.

And now I live in London.

It's interesting because...

- But do you feel without roots?

- Yes.

- Because of... Do you?

- Yeah, I don't want any roots.


I want to be free.

- You don't think they're necessary?

- No.

Only a few members of my family

knew I was leaving.

My friend Mollie and darling Petter

waved me off from Bromma.

I flew to London, then sailed

to the Hollywood dream factory.

I signed up for five years

with Selznick International Pictures,

United Artists, Hollywood.

Darling Mollie,

you were so sweet,

waving like two mice at Bromma.

Thank you for coming, Mollie.

You helped us ease the pain

of saying good-bye.

This trip is an incredible experience.

From Bromma to Hollywood.

Look after Pia and Petter.

Last night, a man at the table said to me,

"You'll never be an actress.

You're too tall."

I said to myself,

"He knows nothing about me."

Spring has arrived in Rsunda,

at the Swedish cinema studios...

Today I was a film extra.

It felt wonderful passing those gates.

It felt like walking on holy ground.

Everyone was talking about

theater and films.

It was my first time, but I hope

I'll get to do it many more times.

Do you have the photo?

She's sticking out of the line

And that always touched me.

You could already see

that this is a child that, you know,

lost all her family.

But you can see already that

Life is great.

It's full of adventure.

You went to theater school.

How did you end up in cinema?

At the end of my first year

at theater school,

during the summer holidays,

I recited poems to Karin Swanstrm,

and she hired me

for the film Munkbrogreven.

I suppose you'll be back late?

No, just going out

for some fresh air. Why?

Take the front door key.

So you don't wake up The Beast

if you come back late.

Thanks. Evening.

Good night.

I left that splendid

theater school to enter the world of film.

I should feel grateful

to have been on stage so young.

But I love the freedom I feel

in front of the camera.

I hope I've not made a mistake,

and that one day I'll be a great actress.

Can I say that

you look pretty this evening?

Am I not pretty every evening?

Sure. But there is

something extraordinary tonight.

There's a rumor

I'm the biggest talent around.

My classmates have no work,

and the studios are fighting for me.

It scares me to think about it.

I hope I don't disappoint them.

I've made ten films in five years.

Major roles

Intermezzo, Swedenhielms and Dollar.

I hope I've not become vain.

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Stig Björkman

Stig Björkman (born 2 October 1938) is a Swedish writer and film critic. He has also directed fifteen films since 1964. His 1972 film Georgia, Georgia was entered into the 23rd Berlin International Film Festival. His 1975 film The White Wall was entered into the 9th Moscow International Film Festival. His 2015 documentary Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words was screened in the Cannes Classics section at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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