“How can I not feel like a failure?” asks Chris, comparing herself to Ingmar Bergman. Her film career is just taking off and she can’t wrap her head around the Swedish director’s five marriages and nine children. Her husband Tony, on the other hand, has become an established art house director, but considers The Seventh Seal (1957) to be overrated. Arriving on the island of Fårö in the Baltic Sea, where Bergman lived and worked, the pair start writing new screenplays. Unexpectedly, the island with its harmless jellyfish, limestone blocks, or rauks, its sheep and tourist buses offers a new scenario. It seems that Bergman himself is the co-writer: enigmatically, as in a mirror.
French director Mia Hansen-Løve’s dramedy exudes a sense of mild self-irony and sleepy existentialism, but the director views Bergman’s persona (1918–2007) and those who are cinema’s enchanted as splintered, disoriented creatures. When Hansen-Løve went to work on Fårö, she had to put herself in the same state of confusing catharsis and creative healing as the characters portrayed by Vicky Krieps and Tim Roth. Bergman filmed a total of two documentaries, one film for television and five feature films on Fårö, north-east of the island of Gotland. Among them Persona (1966), which, according to the director, saved him from his own demons.