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Film / En Passion

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En Passion is a 1969 film by Ingmar Bergman. Its English title is The Passion of Anna. Main roles are played by Liv Ullmann and Max von Sydow. Supporting roles are played by the other Bergman regulars, Bibi Andersson and Erland Josephson.

The main character is Andreas, a former geologist who has to hide in the countryside. He meets Anna with whom he later starts a romance although it might be that Anna is a somewhat too damaged goods even for Andreas who himself is quite a broken man. He also occasionally meets his neighbours, Elis and Eva, a middle-class family of an architect and his wife. Once before his romance with Anna he has an affair with Eva which does not lead anywhere. The gist of the film is still the relation of Anna and Andreas with starts somewhat late into the film.


This film is the third in a row where Liv Ullmann and von Sydow make an onscreen couple after Hour of the Wolf and Skammen. It is believed by many to be the first color film by Bergman which is not correct as in 1964 he shot a much lesser known film All These Women in color. (Also some people who are unaware of both of these films say that Cries and Whispers is Bergman's first color film).


  • Alliterative Name: Anna and Andreas collectively have the one as an official couple.
  • An Axe to Grind: Andreas nearly kills Anna with an axe. He does not however, putting it into the wall and merely beating her up.
  • Beware the Honest Ones: The film.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Anna
  • Bookworm: Played with for Andreas. He has two bookcases full of books, somewhat unusually for a small country house. However he is never seen with any of them. When Eva asks him whether he has read all the books in his library he only answers that not all of them.
  • Broken Bird: Anna Fromm who recently lost her husband and child. it is later implied that she might be the breaker rather than the broken one.
    • Eva qualifies as well.
    • Later this trope is reproduced literally when a bird hits the glass, is seriously hurt and mercykilled by Andreas.
  • Call-Back: A character played by the same Liv Ullmann in the B&W dream of Anna is most probably her character from the similarly B&W Skammen. In the beginning of her dream she goes off the boat onboard of which she remained in the ending scene of that film.
  • Captain Obvious: Of very gloomy kind: Johan writes that when he was beaten up he could not resist his attackers because he was out of strength.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Eva is very frequently the one.
  • Collector of the Strange: Elis collects the photos of humans sorted by theme. One of the segments of his collection is made by photos of the violent acts committed againts people.
  • Color Motif: Beware when in the film which is made in color but where the colors are very dull a bright red thing is shown.
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  • Confession Cam: An early example. All four actors express their ideas on their characters.
  • Cuckold: Elis who is aware of his wife's adultery with the first Andreas and tells that he does not resent her infidelity.
    • Most probably he retains the attitude when Eva cheats on him with the second Andreas played by von Sydow. He even offers a job for the lover of his wife.
  • The Cynic: Elis big time.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: For Andreas who as it becomes known in the second half of the film served a term in prison.
    • Also for Anna for whom the past must be even darker and more troubled than we are told in the first half of the film.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Elis which is lampshaded by Eva who says no-one pays any attention to his snarking except for herself.
  • Distinguished Gentleman's Pipe: For Andreas. He was trained to be a geologist.
  • Downer Ending: Anna proves to be very much not what she seems and she and Andreas separate after a very bad fight
  • Dramatic Drop: Anna drops a bowl of milk when Andreas once lies to her.
  • Driven to Suicide: Johan when he is accused of killing the animals and tormented by the unknown assaulters.
  • The End: The film end with the title Slut which means exactly "end" in Swedish.
  • Exposition: Several dialogues in the begining are this trope.
  • Fiery Redhead When Anna passionately claims that she puts the truth about everything and is very attached to this notion she is this.
  • Film Noir: Doesn't really count as one, but as a tale of a man whose relationship with a Mysterious Woman with a possible Dark and Troubled Past turns him into an obsessive mess, you can call this a Bergman riff on Noir concepts.
  • Four-Philosophy Ensemble
    • Cynic: Elis
    • Optimist: Anna of course this is later subverted aseverything about her but throughout the most of the film she is the optimist.
    • Realist: Eva When she stops being a Cloud Cuckoo Lander and sees things as they are.
    • Apathetic: Andreas.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble:
    • Choleric: Anna
    • Melanchonic: Andreas
    • Phlegmatic: Elis
    • Sanguine: Eva
  • Fourth Wall Breaking: Every twenty minutes or so, the film switches to a brief interview with one of the lead actors (The order is: von Sydow, Ullmann, Andersson, Josephson), where they give their thoughts on the character they're playing. Josephson's interview is notable since it comes up long after Elis was Put on a Bus. This was the first time Bergman tried something like that, and he never did it again.
  • Hidden Depths: For the titular Anna. Who might have killed her previous husband and son though it is never confirmed.
  • Hypocrite: Andreas calls Anna out on her hypocrisy.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: Probably invoked for the truth-loving Anna but later decisively subverted.
  • The Insomniac: Eva has problems sleeping at night. She reveals that when she was pregnant she had to be hospitalized because of it, and when she was given an injection to help her sleep, the dosage was accidentally too strong and she miscarried.
  • Karma Houdini: Most probably for two vigilantes who tormented Johan who was driven to suicide in the result. It is never indicated that Johan revealed their identity though he could do it.
    • Definitely for the killer of animals.
    • Arguably also for Anna as it is hinted that she might have killed her husband and her son.
  • Kubrick Stare: When Elis photographs Andreas he tells him to move down his head aiming for this effect.
  • Meaningful Name: Anna Fromm, Fromm meaning "pious" (or kindly) in German. This name may or may not be in agreement with her true nature.
  • Mercy Killing: For a Broken Bird (a real avian, not a human female) by Andreas in the presence of Anna.
  • No Animals Were Harmed: The wiener dog obviously was not but what about sheep and a horse.
  • An Odd Place to Sleep: Eva can't sleep at night, so she falls asleep at random times and places. Andreas once finds her sleeping in her car during the day. Next time she falls asleep at his house.
  • Official Couple: Utterly oddly Eva, the former lover of Andreas, once says that Andreas and Anna are the couple and that she is not jealous before the relationship of Andreas and Anna is ever shown onscrean. Several scenes before Eva quits Andreas' house then all those scenes do not feature Anna and Andreas together and Anna does not appear in any of those at all. It is only after that mentioning of Eva that they are shown together as a couple.
  • One Steve Limit: Subverted as the deceased husband of Anna was called Andreas like the main character played by von Sydow. He never appears but the viewer is shown his photo. Elis lampshades this calling the deceased man "the namesake" for the character of von Sydow.
  • Only in It for the Money: Elis recognises that he works because the earnings from his profession of architect let him satisfy his various needs.
  • Pet the Dog: First Andreas takes out of the noose the dog hanged on his plot and saves him.
    • Later he is the only one to support Johan wrongly accused of killing the animals.
  • Pretty in Mink: Eva wears a fur coat in the scene where she visits Andreas.
  • Put on a Bus: Eva and Elis are absent from the last act of the film.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Who was actually killing animals in the country since the one who was accused by the public opinion turned out to be innocent.
  • The Scream: Andreas lets out the one when Eva leaves him after their brief romance.
  • Self-Deprecation: For Eva when she goes away from Andreas after their brief romance. She says that she might be the dullest lover he ever had.
  • Sell-Out: Elis who works as a highly-payed architect considers himself as such.
  • Snuff: Elis has a huge collection of the photos of people classified so that every drawer contains pictures referring to a certain topic. One of his drawers contains the photos of violent acts on humans.
  • Splash of Color: In general the colours in this movie are very dull however several times a splash of red punctuates the key moments:
    • First the blood of the killed sheep is as bright as in a typical giallo.
    • Later the bright red bricks are shown on the ground immediately after that Andreas is told by the police that Johan has committed suicide.
    • Finally Anna's kerchief is bright red in the decisive scene between her and Andreas. She violently accuses him and he beats her up. The kerchief ends on the ground where the viewer previously saw the killed sheep and bricks.
  • Temporary Love Interest: Andreas for Eva as they have a very short fling once Elis leaves for a business trip.
  • Time Skip: The voiceover comments in the beginning of one scene than Anna and Andreas live several days together.
    • Later the voiceover mentions that they already live several years together and rarely have conflicts.
  • The Unsolved Mystery: It is never revealed who killed all those animals.
  • Wimp Fight: When the obviously much stronger Andreas attacks Anna he hits her very maladroitly so that she manages to put up quite a fight against him for some time, delivering several blows. It is implied that the male character is not much of a fighter. Of course in the end he still beats her up.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Andreas definitely would once Anna accuses him of every sin imaginable and repeatedly cries at him.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Eva in the past cheated on Elis with Andreas, the former husband of Anna.
    • Onscreen she cheats on Elis with the present Andreas played by von Sydown.

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