Film director Martin Grandé (Hasse Ekman) is visited by his old math teacher, who has an idea for a film about the everyday hell of life. Martin remains sceptical, but the writer Thomas (Birger Malmsten) says he has just the right story. A short while back he interviewed a 17-year-old girl, Birgitta-Carolina Söderberg (Doris Svedlund), who works as a prostitute for her boyfriend Peter (Stig Olin). Birgitta-Carolina is distraught because Peter and her cold-hearted sister Linnéa have taken away her newborn baby. Thomas has also reached a low point in his own marriage with Sofi (Eva Henning), where they are even thinking of murder or suicide ...
In FÄNGELSE Ingmar Bergman proves himself a master of the low-budget film. He had to pinch and scrimp in all areas of the production – lighting, electricity, sets, extras, shooting days, music, film stock. And nevertheless the movie contains a wealth of unusual images: interplay of light and shadow, surreal dream sequences and even a little slapstick comedy that takes up the themes of death and the devil.
FÄNGELSE is full of Bergmanian irony: while the old teacher and the director are still debating whether it is possible to make a movie about hell when God might not even exist, we have just seen this very movie with the story of Thomas and Birgitta-Carolina.
by Ingmar Bergman
with Doris Svedlund, Birger Malmsten, Eva Henning