Drama films

Bergman Island Review – Baltic Yarrow by Mia Hansen-Løve | Drama movies

A The director (Vicky Krieps), in a relationship with an older filmmaker (Tim Roth), spends time in a creative retreat on the island of Faro in the Baltic Sea, famous home and workplace of Ingmar Bergman. There, she develops an idea about a young woman (played by Mia Wasikowska, in a seductive film in the film), also a filmmaker, visiting Faro for a wedding and reconnecting with her former lover (Anders Danielsen Lie).

Factor in the autobiographical element – Bergman Island‘s writer-director Mia Hansen-Løve was herself in a relationship with older filmmaker Olivier Assayas – and the story begins to feel like a refractive prism in its overlapping of character and creator. In Hansen-Løve’s hands, it’s a delicate millefeuille, layering story on story, character on character, until it’s hard to separate them.

Krieps’ character, Chris, approaches storytelling in a curious and engaging way; it questions and explores. It seems likely that Hansen-Løve is going the same way: Bergman Island has a languid, meandering pace and a plot ruled by chance encounters and discoveries.

The score, a delicate motif crafted from the unlikely combination of harp, recorders and bagpipes, captures the slightly unconventional beauty of the island. But it’s a place that Chris chafes at: “All this calm and perfection, I find it oppressive. Likewise, she is disappointed by what she learns from Bergman himself. With the “Bergman Safari” and its competitive filmmakers personally claiming the big man’s work, Hansen-Løve gently mocks the reverence for an authoritative author and instead allows his wives to drive the story.