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Bild: Rolf Jönsson, GA, arkivbild

Ingmar Bergman – a Fårö lad

One of the world’s most successful film directors of all time, Ingmar Bergman, lived on Fårö.

The first time Ingmar Bergman visited Fårö it was to find suitable locations for shooting his film Through a Glass Darkly (Swedish title: Såsom i en spegel). Initially he had wanted to shoot the film on the Orkney Islands in Scotland, but the cinematographer Sven Nykvist suggested Fårö instead. Bergman immediately fell in love with the island, and only a few years passed before he had a house there. Fårö became Bergman’s oasis.

“He was approachable, not aloof. He chatted with the locals. He would never speak badly of anyone here and he often spoke of Fårö in glowing terms when he met fellow film-makers in Stockholm,” recounts photographer Arne Carlsson.

As a result of Ingmar Bergman’s films becoming famous throughout the world, Fårö has also received a great deal of attention. Countless visitors to the island who have asked where Bergman lived have been sent in the completely wrong direction by the locals. They protected him from prying eyes and unwelcome intrusions. They gave him the safety and privacy he needed. Nowadays the geographical location of his house is more widely known: Hammars.

The affection between Ingmar Bergman and the inhabitants of Fårö was mutual. At the Bergman Center one can read various anecdotes people have written down about the director. Here is one, recounted by Fårö native Herman Östergren, who appears in the film Shame (Skammen) in the role of the statistician:

“You had better not stare into the bloody camera. Yes, he swore a lot, did Bergman. But he was an interesting fellow and a good bloke. He was full of common sense and he did a lot for Fårö and northern Gotland”.

FACTS
Ernst Ingmar Bergman (14th July 1918 – 30th July 2007)

Internationally-acclaimed film director and scriptwriter for theatre and cinema, playwright, theatre director and author. Had homes in Stockholm and on Fårö. Fårö in particular meant a great deal to him. It was on Fårö that he shot a number of his films, and he also made two documentaries about the island, Fårödokument 1969 and Fårödokument 1979. Fårö was the place Bergman chose to live out the last years of his life, and he is buried in the graveyard at Fårö church, alongside his fifth and last wife, Ingrid Bergman.

Four of Bergman’s films have received Oscars (and even more have been nominated for an Oscar), namely: The Virgin Spring (Jungfrukällan, 1960), Through a Glass Darkly (Såsom i en spegel, 1961), Cries and Whispers (Viskningar och rop, 1974) and Fanny and Alexander (Fanny och Alexander, 1983). His last film was Saraband (2003).

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