by guest writer
A Ship Bound for India (Skepp till India land, 1947) is part of Ingmar Bergman’s beginning in the world of movies. What stroke me the most when seeing the film was the director’s unmistakable touch and vision. It is of great comfort to see how one of the finest directors of all times developed and established his cornerstone in the cinema world. A Ship Bound For India is his third feature and, in my opinion, one of his most enduring and best works. The story unfolds as a sailor, Johannes Blom (Birger Malmsten), returns home after a long absence to visit the woman, Sally (Gertrud Fridh), he has dreamt about since his leaving a few years back. As Alexander enters the apartment where Sally resides, an entire history opens before our eyes in one of the most beautiful flashbacks seen in the movie history. This is how we begin to discover the complex characters and how Johannes and Sally met. The feeling of deception is powerfully represented by Johannes’ father, Kapten Alexander (Holger Löwenadler), throughout the whole flashback sequence. A love triangle is slowly built, one that will have some unexpected twists.
Unusually constructed for that period, A Ship Bound for India impresses with its crisp, impeccable black and white cinematography of Göran Strindberg. As it happens in all Bergman’s movies, you will be seduced by the Swedish landscapes and the natural play of his cast, which I think is not to be measured with anything.
photo: still from the film | credit: Sveriges Folkbiografer