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LINES FROM THE HEART

Sweden, 1996 (MIFF 1997, Documentaries)

Director: Christina Olofson

Lines from the Heart treats its audience to an hour in the company of the great Swedish actresses Bibi Andersson, Harriet Andersson and Gunnel Lindblom. Gathering at the late director Mai Zetterling's French retreat, the trio reminisce on the terrace about Zetterling, Ingmar Bergman, their craft and life in general.

Free-ranging conversation belies the film's artfully simple tripartite structure. The trio com­prise a neatly balanced group: Harriet Anders­son emerges as a practical woman who rejected motherhood; Bibi Andersson sees therapy as the way to attain artistic fulfilment; Lindblom has managed to juggle marriage, motherhood and career with admirable ease.

Zetterling, the guiding spirit behind the pro­ject, receives lavish (and, one suspects, well-earned) tributes; in 1968 all three actresses starred in her bold and controversial feature The Girls, and to this day derive Inspiration from her trailblazing efforts. Ingmar Bergman, with whom both Andersson women had a close relationship, introduced the trio to international audiences in So Close to Life, Summer with Monica and The Seventh Seal. As one quips: "They treat us actors as kids, but Ingmar Bergman made us respectable."

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