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aka - Skepp Till Indialand,
Sweden 1947
Directed by
Ingmar Bergman
92 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3.5 stars

Ship Bound For India, A

Although shot with a small budget, the limited means work well to suggest the dreary. claustrophobic world of Johannes Blom (Birger Malmsten), the scoliotic son of a salvage ship captain (Holger Lowenadler), a frustrated man who despises his deformed son and no longer cares for his wife, Alice (Anna Lindahl), even to the point of bringing his mistress, Sally (Gertrud Fridh) to live with them on their houseboat.

As was so often the case with Bergman’s films based on a play, A Ship Bound For India is a chamber piece that skilfully enough depicts the heart’s loneliness, a misery that binds all four main characters for better and worse.

Playing the father Lowenadler is reminiscent of one of the mature Bergman’s company of actors, Max Von Sydow, whilst the Lear-like blindness that increasingly afflicts him gives this, Bergman’s third film and first that gave him recognition outside Scandinavia, a sense of the larger workings of Fate that would typify the director’s better-known later films.  Even taken out of the context of Bergman’s work, the film is still worth attention and demonstrates substantial cinematic flair in its realization.




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