A work of stunning maturity and one of Bergman’s most important films, Bergman achieved a major international breakthrough with this scandalous, sensual and ultimately ravaging tale of young love.
Harriet Andersson is astonishing, in her first film with Bergman, as the irrepressible 17-year-old Monika who is in love with both Harry (Lars Ekborg)– a year older but more circumspect – and her youthful freedom. Having run away from home to spend a secluded, romantic summer at the beach (far away from parents and responsibilities) even when she finds herself pregnant, she’s reluctant to abandon their idyll in the archipelago for the mundane routine of Stockholm.
A standout early film from Bergman’s massive oeuvre, Summer with Monika is tender, sensuous, and never judgmental. A still fresh and subtly masterful work, it is one of Bergman’s standout early films. One that demonstrated his powerful formal and thematic simplicity before he was to embark upon the more ambitious masterpieces of his later career.