Bergman — A Year in a Life

Opened 2018


  • A The Match Factory, B-Reel Films, Sveriges Television AB, SF Studios, Gotlands Filmfond, Film Capital Stockholm Fond, Nordsvensk, Filmunderhallning, Reel Ventures, Motlys A/S production.
  • PRODUCERS: Fredrik Heinig, Cecilia Nessen, Mattias Nohrborg.
  • Director: Jane Magnusson
  • Camera (color, widescreen): Emil Klang.
  • Editor: Hanna Lejonqvist.
  • Music: Lars Kumlin, Jonas Beckman.
  • WITH: Liv Ullmann, Thorsten Flinck, Barbra Streisand, Elliott Gould, Lena Endre

Bergman - ett år, ett liv (original title) was a Swedish documentary commissioned for 2018 — the centenary of the birth of Ingmar Bergman. Its director, Jane Magnusson, interviewed more than 50 people who worked with Bergman, including Barbra Streisand – with whom Bergman tried to make a film of The Merry Widow opera in the 1970s.

Streisand as she appears in the Bergman documentary.

In the documentary, Streisand says:

When I visited Elliott [Gould, her husband at the time], who was making a picture for Ingmar Bergman, I was fascinated, and I watched for several days. And I thought how lucky Elliott was because there is Ingmar Bergman on his knees, below Elliott. The camera was on Elliott's closeup and Ingmar was talking him through a scene. Because I was such an admirer, I remember feeling jealous of Elliott that he was having such a brilliant director guide him.

In the 1960s, Ingmar Bergman was regarded with immense respect. He was highly regarded.

Streisand also read one of Bergman's letters on screen:

“I'm often sleepless,” he wrote. “The night of July 14th there was a concert with Barbra Streisand for nearly an hour. I felt very happy and grateful. Love, Ingmar.”

Streisand briefly spoke about her brief work with Bergman on a film version of The Merry Widow:

I had read the first act that Ingmar had sent me and I loved it. I adored it. It was so baudy and delicious. I loved it and I told him so. I think Ingmar was very sensitive to my criticism of the second act. As much as I loved the first act, I thought the second act could use some work.

When asked about the story which has circulated that Streisand invited Ingmar Bergman to a pool party at her house, Streisand responded:

What I can tell you is that I never gave a pool party in my life.

Pictured below: Streisand, Elliott Gould, and Ingmar Bergman.

Note: As of January 2019, this documentary was still making the rounds at film festivals and has not been released on home video or on streaming services.


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