Fårö Document (1970)

faro document poster 1970 documentary bergman
7.0 Overall Score

Short and to the point

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Movie Info

Movie Name:  Fårö Document

Studio:  Cinematograph AB

Genre(s):  Documentary

Release Date(s):  January 1, 1970 (Sweden)

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated

faro document map island

Bergman’s island

Fårö is a Swedish small island off of Gotland that became an important part of Ingmar Bergman’s films…and almost a character itself.  Bergman goes to the island near the island of Gotland and decides to talk to the people.  He explores the farming community, the day-to-day life, and what children of Fårö think about their home…will Fårö endure or will the island fade away to time?

Directed by Ingmar Bergman, Fårö Document (Fårö dokument) is a documentary film.  Following Bergman’s The Passion of Anna in 1969, the short film was released in Sweden on January 1, 1970.  The Criterion Collection included the film as part of the Ingmar Bergman box set Ingmar Bergman’s Cinema.

faro document school bus criterion bergman

Fårö’s next generation?

When watching Bergman films, you often notice how similar they look even if they are striking.  That is often because Bergman used Fårö so often and the visuals of the island are rather distinctive.  While Fårö Document isn’t very indicative of Bergman, it is at the same time very Bergman.

The movie is composed of a lot of interviews with the people of Fårö.  They are frank but they are really normal people.  They are farmers, fishermen, businessmen, and officials.  Bergman asks them real and honest questions about the island and their lives…the good and the bad.  Some of the stories are fun and some are sentimental, but they all feel real.

The movie also dives into the questions about the future of Fårö.  With a small island, keeping the population is sometimes a tough sell.  Younger kids when they get older want to get out and places to work are also a challenge…if you don’t want to be a farmer or a fisherman, your choices on Fårö are limited.  While most of the younger generation talked about leaving, there was hope for Fårö in those that didn’t want to leave the oceanside or their world.

faro document sheep giving birth


The documentary’s interviews are interspersed with images from around the island.  There is a lot of footage of sheep…including the rather brutal butchering of a sheep and a lot of sheep births.  If you can’t handle seeing the circle of life in your face, you might struggle with this.

Fårö Document is a nice addendum for fans of Bergman.  It allows Bergman to have a bit of a voice, but it also shows the world you’ve seen played out on the screen in his films.  The island despite being rather simple and quaint does have an appeal and fans of Bergman probably do want to see it…I know I do.  Bergman did a follow-up documentary called Fårö Document 1979 in 1979 and followed Fårö Document with The Touch in 1971.

Related Links:

Fårö Document 1979 (1979)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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