In the history of Hollywood there have perhaps only been a handful of actors who could walk into a room and command silence. Not only did Ingrid Bergman have that star quality she also had a intelligence, charisma and charm which wasn’t always evident in many of her peers in that era. She went on to have a career working in film and theatre in five different countries but her personal life was less successful.
In Stig Björkman’s documentary Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words, he pieces together the Swede’s life using correspondence, archive footage, photos and with the help of interviews with her children. The amount of material and access is astonishing, covering an unhappy childhood filled with tragedy, through celebrity, infamy and her calmer latter years. It’s clear that the acting was initially a way of coping with unhappiness and Bergman found it hard to find the same kind of fulfilment from anything else.
Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words is a refreshing and fascinating documentary which leaves you feeling like you’ve been given a really special insight into the actresses life through her letters and archive interviews. The fact she was a keen amateur film-maker and photographer herself gives a unique peek into the family’s private life. Whilst she was far from a perfect mother or wife, there’s no underestimating her charm or mistaking her overwhelming desire to be a successful actress.
Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words is out in cinemas from Friday.