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THE WHITE WALL

Sweden, 1975 (MIFF 1976)

Director: Stig Björkman

Monika, who is a divorced housewife, wakes early one morning, at about five-thirty. Next to her in the bed is a stranger, a man she met the day before. He has lied to her about his name, his job, his wife and children. Last night, he had promised her love and friendship, but he is now anxious to be on his way. During the day, Monika tries desperately to get in touch with her former husband, but he doesn't want to see her. Eventually, he leaves her some money for the rent, while Monika applies for a job. She is oppressed by a sense of failure, and goes out that evening with her best friend, Berit, to a restaurant. At the end of the evening, Monika is driven home by one of her dancing partners, who expects to stay the night. But can he provide the sense of belonging that Monika needs, or does he regard her simply as another adventure?

'Harriet Andersson, who has seldom been made full use of outside Bergman's magic circle, is here given the opportunity to portray an everyday human destiny in such a way that the black vortices of loneliness become visible beneath her makeup.'

Hanserik Hjerten, Dagens Nyheter

'The film is given real depth by Miss Andersson's dedicated playing and Bjorkman's glancing observation of the milieu in which she moves: the cold offices, the lonely flat with a sleeping companion for one night, the noisy dance with the inevitable young wolves to be warded off.'

John Gillett, Sight and Sound

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