The A Summer with Bergman program convened at Mesón de San Antonio for the conference Ingmar Bergman’s Wild Strawberries, taught by poet, writer, journalist and scholar Perla Schwartz.
Those who attended the conference at 18:30 hrs got to analyze this masterpiece with this specialist in cultural journalism. This acclaimed film premiered in 1957 and won awards such as the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival, the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film and an OScar nomination for Best ORiginal Screenplay. It’s the story of Isak Borg (Victor Sjöström), a retired doctor who travels to Sweden to receive an honorary doctorate from his alma mater.
Schwartz mentions that this spiritual and psychological road movie reflects how old age joins together with wisdom. The 77-year-old protagonist, after having a dream that Schwartz described at “Buñuel-style”, takes a road trip with his daughter-in-law Marianne, who accuses him of being a selfish man who only thinks of himself. During the trip, as is characteristic of movies of the genre, Isak goes through several episodes —such as his memories of his love from his youth, Sarah— and will meet people —like the young hitchhikers he picked up— which lead to a transformation. He will go from an insufferable old man, a type of Steppenwolf, to being more generous.
And so, Bergman treats topics like the fragility of feelings, husband-and-wife relationships, the unconscious, youth, sadness, the existence of God, the brevity of moments and the ambiguity of the human condition, remembering that love is the greatest attachment tie that man possesses.
Perla Schwartz spoke of the relevance of this film for different filmmakers. It has influenced artists like Stanley Kubrick, who considered this the second best movie of all time, Woody Allen, and even Andrei Tarkovsky, especially in his film The Sacrifice, where his characters are constantly looking within..
It ended with a Q&A session with the audience in which Schwarz invited everyone, especially young people, to approach this pillar of world cinema, signaling that it understands like no other film, the complexity of the human condition.