Film master Ingmar Bergman dies at 89
His work opened the door for foreign film in the U.S.

By Myrna Oliver, Special to The Times
July 31, 2007

Ingmar Bergman, the Swedish auteur whose visionary work in early masterpieces such as "The Seventh Seal" and "Wild Strawberries" and later films such as "Persona" and "Cries and Whispers" probed the depths of the human psyche with existential dramas that redefined cinema, died Monday. He was 89.

The director in 1998. “Bergman was the first to bring metaphysics —
religion, death, existentialism — to the screen,” Bertrand Tavernier,
the French film director, once said. “But the best of Bergman is the
way he speaks of women, of the relationship between men and women.
He’s like a miner digging in search of purity.”

The reclusive Academy Award-winning director and writer died at his home on the Baltic island of Faro off the coast of Sweden. Astrid Soderbergh Widding, president of the Ingmar Bergman Foundation, confirmed his death on the foundation's website. Bergman had never fully recovered from hip surgery in October, Swedish news media reported.

Bergman was considered one of the greatest directors in motion picture history. His movies are credited with helping open America's doors to foreign films in the 1950s.

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