Persona

Persona ★★★★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Wow, was that something, huh.

I found Persona to be a war between two personalities of a singular woman. I love how Bergman played with the audience's expectations of women's roles... Sister Alma, a nurse, supposedly the embodiment of classic "good", comes across increasingly petty and callous, while Elisabet, an actress, supposedly self-centred and narcissistic as with what comes with the actor stereotype, is seen reacting to war footage with stark horror, displaying glimpses of increasing humanity.

Alma forcing Elisabet to say "nothing" and leaving without her seems to paint a picture of Alma ultimately winning the duel (of personalities? of souls?), leaving behind a personality that quite frankly was portrayed at odds with what Alma was painting Elisabet as, creating a bleak feeling of defeat at the end. As if Alma said silence, I reject parts of myself, of my experience in life as being grossly invalid with the way I want to present myself as to the world from now on, begone treacherous she-demon!

Maybe Persona was more forgiving, maybe it was trying to say women are so much more complex than the stereotypes assigned to them in film, but I certainly got the feeling as if Elisabet was banished to the darkness forever, instead of being incorporated in a personality which has its yin and its yang, and it made for a level of dread and sadness I haven't experienced in film-watching for some time. Might just be me though.

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