Persona ★★★★½

"All the anxiety we bear with us, all our thwarted dreams, the incomprehensible cruelty, our fear of extinction, the painful insight into our earthly condition, have slowly eroded our hope of an other-worldly salvation. The howl of our faith and doubt against the darkness and silence is one of the most awful proofs of our abandonment and our terrified, unuttered knowledge."

I would have simply placed a question mark as my review, but I can't do that. It wouldn't do justice to Persona and the emotions I felt watching the film. I don't understand Persona, and that's the point. It's more about the feeling. And something hit me deeply. I don't completely know what activated this feeling, yet there's something extremely personal in Persona that's terribly affecting. Perhaps it is the insecurity in identity, reflected in the film's structure. Or may it be about how we use people as personas and self-reflection? Is it that Persona touches upon the fear of extinction and death so philosophically? What if it's about the complete disconnection from reality that Persona captures? I don't know for sure, but what I do know is that as Persona progressed and focused on its characters, I started to think about the things that have been happening in my life. I find myself increasingly distant from reality, my friends and family, and even myself. I struggle to open up to people close to me, and whenever I do, I feel misunderstood, like I'm not truly listened to. And yet, when I observed the smallest and biggest character actions like Alma confiding in Elisabeth and breaking down by herself, I could relate, but I never fully understood what the characters' motivations are. And maybe that's the point.

Maybe there are people you can't understand, including yourself, and I'm starting to see that reflected in Persona. Maybe there's a lot more I'm missing, and I got it all wrong. But amidst Ingmar Bergman's poetic direction and Sven Nykvist's stunning cinematography, there's something about Persona that opened me up to self-reflection, and for what it's worth, it's a beautiful and personal experience. Persona will stay with me for the time to come and shows how cinema works in the most mysterious and emotional ways. What a film.

🎃🏳️‍🌈 Nicholas (Nic) 🏳️‍🌈🎃 liked these reviews