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Ingmar Bergman: The Not-So-Magical Life of a Magic Filmmaker

For many artists, creativity lies in madness and intense passion. It’s driven by these aspects and it’s where their greatest works emerge. Ingmar Bergman was one of these people. The legendary Scandinavian filmmaker stands as one of the best in history and was a self-confessed movie addict.

Standing as one of cinema’s leading visionaries, Bergman made around 55 films throughout his lifetime. Some of his iconic works like Winter LightThe Seventh Seal, or Wild Strawberries are still played in modern households today, with audiences still being captivated by his interesting storylines.

However, there are still many facts about Ingmar Bergman’s life that fans may not be aware of.

Below we will discuss some:

He had a troubled childhood

Bergman didn’t have the healthiest childhood. He grew up in Uppsala, Sweden, where he was repeatedly abused by his parents. He has been noted for referring to his mother as “cold” and “rejecting,” and it’s believed that his father was physically abusive toward him and locked him up in closets.

This left Bergman mentally scarred for life, and he carried the trauma of his childhood to his adulthood. The abuse taking place at home caused him to flee, and he didn’t remain in contact with his parents for about five years after that.

Perhaps this is why he became close to his maternal grandmother, Anna Calwagen. She was considered to be a humorous woman, who he openly regarded as his best friend.

She used to attend the cinema with him on a regular basis and he watched his first film with her.

He wasn’t always lucky in love

Bergman is said to have been untrusting in the institution of marriage. This was probably because he had been divorced four times. He believed that marriage suffocated love in a relationship, instead of freeing it.


Bergman was known to have a disorderly and occasionally destructive character, and it has been said that he used to lose his temper on set if something didn’t go his way.

Moreover, he was forced to attend countless church services in his hometown and eventually, it made him lose trust in religion. He was repulsed by the church’s sermons and believed that the clerics in Sweden aimed to create a bunch of obedient slaves in a hierarchy where God was at the top.

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