Ingmar Bergman's Wild Strawberries

We always struggle with whether or not we are doing the right thing as we go through life and whether or not our life has any meaning. The hope that when we reach the end of our life that we can have a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction is what drives people to try and succeed. But what if you got to the end of your life you realized that your life was empty and void of any real meaning?
Ingmar Bergman has been a name associated with excellence in entertainment since he started writing and directing movies in 1944. Almost up until his death earlier this year this German born writer has been working at his craft tirelessly and has been recognized with 9 Oscar nominations in his career as well as winning almost 60 other cinematic awards. His desire to work almost exclusively in German has not hindered his popularity her in the United States and he has a legion of fans that continues to grow all over the world. Since his birth in 1918, and his trials and tribulations through the Nazi era of Germany, Ingmar Bergman has wanted to tell stories and his rich and fulfilling life of being a successful movie maker would have to satisfy anyone with his creative urge. He was a brilliant man and his legacy can be found in the dozens of movies he has left behind for all of us to enjoy for many years to come.

One of those Oscar nominated efforts that Bergman put out was the 1957 classic whose title translates to Wild Strawberries. As with most of his movies the cast is made up of mostly German actors who have received little attention in the United States with the exception of Bergman regular Max Von Sydow. Wild Strawberries is a moving and eye opening experience that takes the viewer along a roller coaster of emotion that can only come from the mind and through the eyes of Ingmar Bergman. Bergman wrote Wild Strawberries while recovering in the hospital and that is more than likely why the main character is a doctor. The movie was released in the United States originally in 1959 and then enjoyed a new life in a re-release in 2003 in England and 2006 in Poland. It only took 6 weeks to film it but the legacy of Wild Strawberries has endured for decades and Wild Strawberries promises to endure for many more years to come.

Wild Strawberries is a story about a doctor who has been notified that he has been selected to receive an award for 50 years of medical service to the community. As he sets out on his journey he stops along the way to meet up with family and friends and try to reconnect to the people that he loves and are important to him. But as he goes through his journey he is constantly haunted by visions and dreams that finally get him to realize that he has spent his entire life in a vacuum and that as a human being he has lived a life void of meaning and serving no purpose. His personal connections to other people have suffered for his career and now that he is in the twilight of his life something is starting to tell him that even though he may have been a great success at what he did for a living that professional success was at the cost of his personal life and as a person he has failed miserably. It is a difficult realization to make but soon he accepts that he has failed in his personal relationships and personal relationships should be considered just as important as professional success to any truly successful person. He reveals his new found attitude with his family and friends and begs them for their forgiveness and their help in reclaiming the part of his life that was lost in pursuit of his career. Through love and support from his family and friends he is able to feel like a complete human being and in the end he is allowed to savor the feeling of true success that being a well rounded person brings both in your professional life and in your personal life.
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