Ingrid Thulin, Gunnar Björnstrand, Anders Ek, Erik Hell,
The Rite is one of Bergman’s most stylized and political films. A Kafkaesque chamber drama originally written for the stage, this production was made for TV so that Bergman and his crew could utilize extensive closeups of the performers’ faces against minimalist set decor. Three itinerant actors, played by Bergman regulars Ingrid Thulin, Gunnar Björnstrand, and Anders Ek, are accused of taking part in a performance deemed pornographic by the state’s authorities. Taut, bold, and dark, The Rite confronts artistic censorship while also investigating central Bergman themes such as sexual violence and the nature of performance.