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Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words 

Wednesday, Feb 10 2016
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It's significant that one word should make such a difference in Stig Björkman's inspiring and appropriately titled documentary Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words. Made with the active participation of her children, In Her Own Words uses Bergman's voluminous diaries and correspondence (read in the original Swedish by Alicia Vikander) to chart her career, as well as the controversy and condemnation that dogged her private life. Bergman was publicly crucified in the 1950s — to an extent that's unthinkable now — for daring to leave the father of her children for another man. Her career was severely damaged, but she didn't let the haters keep her down. In the more halcyon days of 1941, Bergman had written in her diary of how genuinely thrilled she was to play the part of a prostitute in Victor Fleming's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, writing joyfully and without irony, "Will I ever get a better part than the little whore Ivy Petersen?" When first published in her 1980 memoir, and reprinted many times since, it was always "the little girl Ivy Petersen" — but here the word is clearly "whore," a word that would be used against her in the coming years. It's in the little moments that Bergman shines, a woman unafraid to follow her own path in both word and deed.

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Sherylin Connelly

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