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Film / Skammen

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Skammen (Shame in English) is a 1968 film directed by Ingmar Bergman and starring Max von Sydow and Liv Ullmann. It is a war movie dedicated to the experiences of a couple of the peasants who suddenly find themselves in the heat of the warfare. They are thoroughly peaceful and need to do their best to survive as both fighting factions in turns take control of the zone where their isolated farm is located.


  • Based on a True Story: The film is loosely based on the Soviet Union's invasion of the Baltic States in 1940.
  • Book Ends: At the start and at the end, Jan and Eva respectively talk about dreams they had.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: The characters are driven to extremes by war and betray the warring sides regularly. Even the spouses do that in the end to each other.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Eva crosses it in the very end on the boat where the will to survive leaves her.
  • Fallen-on-Hard-Times Job: Jan and Eva used to be musicians, but since their orchestra got dismantled, they've taken up running a farm. When Jan recounts his dream in the opening scene, it's about how they were performing again and the farming job was nothing more than a passing nightmare.
  • Good Morning, Crono: The film starts with Jan and Eva waking up to start a new day.
  • Neutrality Backlash: Jan and Eva have no political opinion and pick no sides in the war. Which doesn't do them any good, as it only makes soldiers from one side think they're supporting the other.
    • Interestingly, Bergman himself suffered this as well when more left-leaning film makers criticized him for making a film obviously informed by the Vietnam war without taking sides.
  • Next Sunday A.D.: It's the only Bergman film to take place in the future, though a very near one that's indistinguishable from the time the film was made in.
  • Only One Name: For anyone except for Eva and Jan Rosenberg.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Hour of the Wolf - the film by Bergman released previously in the same year which also starred von Sydow and Ullman as a married couple. The previous one was dedicated to the fate of the artist in the society while this one to the war.
  • War Is Hell: Bergman sees no justification for the war. It is only cruelty and destruction.