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A Ship to India

Skepp till Indialand

With the main body of the narrative unfolding in the form of a lengthy flashback, A Ship to India marks Bergman’s first use of two separate time planes. After seven years at sea, Johannes revisits the mistress he shared with his authoritarian father and recalls her betrayal and his father’s murderous attack on him. Bergman sketches in the conflict between father and son swiftly and sharply. The captain is overbearing and mocking; the son is tortured and rebellious. Johannes is a symbol of the fight in Bergman to destroy the worthless illusions on which most human beings build their life. The film has some splendidly tatty vaudeville scenes. It is the first time that Bergman makes use of the mystique of the theatre in his films, and he is to resort to it increasingly as his career goes on.
1947.
English subtitles.
Black and white.
100 mins.

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