Drama – Sweden Production year: 1966 Movie length: 84 minutes (12 votes cast)
Director: Ingmar Bergman
A young nurse, Alma, is put in charge of Elisabeth Vogler: an actress who is seemingly healthy in all respects, but will not talk. As they spend time together, Alma speaks to Elisabeth constantly, never receiving any answer. Alma eventually confesses her secrets to a seemingly sympathetic Elisabeth and finds that her own personality is being submerged into Elisabeth’s persona.
PERSONA opens with a sequence of disassociated and disturbing images: a nail is driven into someone’s hand, an animal is slaughtered, a boy is seated in front of the gigantic projection of a woman’s face. As the story begins in flashback, Elisabeth Vogler, an acclaimed stage actress, suddenly freezes up in the middle of a performance. She has suffered a break-down and is now either unable or unwilling to speak. Elisabeth’s doctor decides to send her to a seaside cottage on a retreat and asks Alma, a dedicated young nurse, to accompany the patient. As the days go by, in order to elicit a response from her ward, Alma finds herself discussing her most intimate secrets, which Elisabeth seems to silently absorb. Eventually, Alma begins voicing the other woman’s thoughts, and to her horror, she realizes that their minds and personalities are merging.