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Contribution to Book
Ingmar Bergman
The Routledge companion to philosophy and film
  • Paisley Nathan LIVINGSTON, Lingnan University, Hong Kong
Document Type
Book chapter
Publication Date

Although Ingmar Bergman (1918–2007) figures on everyone’s list of philosophical filmmakers, attempts to specify the philosophical implications of his films have yielded highly divergent results. One reason why this is the case is that interpreters disagree over how the philosophical content of a cinematic oeuvre is to be identified. Some interpreters clearly believe it best to work with their own philosophical views when interpreting a film’s story and themes, while others contend that the content of a work is at least partly constituted by the filmmaker’s own ideas and background, which the interpreter should try to reconstruct on the basis of the available evidence. This entry focuses on claims made by interpreters who share the latter premise. Such interpreters often disagree about the content of a given film because they do not have the same evidence about its context, or because they reason about the evidence differently. I survey such disagreements among Bergman’s interpreters and then shed new light on his actual philosophical sources and ideas.

Publisher Statement
Copyright © 2009 Routledge
Additional Information
ISBN of the source publication: 9780415771665
Citation Information
Livingston, P. (2008). Ingmar Bergman. In P. Livingston, & C. Plantinga (Eds.), The Routledge companion to philosophy and film (pp. 560-568). London: Routledge.