Fårö Document 1979 (1979)

faro document 1979 poster advertisement
7.5 Overall Score

More in-depth than previous entry

Still a simple documentary

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Fårö Document 1979

Studio:  Cinematograph AB

Genre(s):  Documentary

Release Date(s):  December 24, 1979 (Sweden)/October 1980 (US)

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated

faro document 1979 beach island

Enjoy the beaches of Fårö?

Ingmar Bergman has decided to return to his island muse of Fårö to revisit old friends and make new ones.  Fårö is changing and growing, but every generation faces problems.  Some are new and some are old.  As Fårö fights to keep its population, it also faces the challenge of dealing with tourists and a changing environment.  Fårö endures.

Directed by Ingmar Bergman, Fårö Document 1979 (Fårö-dokument 1979) is a Swedish documentary film.  Following Bergman’s Autumn Sonata in 1978, the documentary is a follow-up to his 1970 documentary Fårö Document and originally aired on Swedish TV.  The Criterion Collection released a remastered version of the film as part of their Ingmar Bergman’s Cinema box set collection.

faro document 1979 pig killed bolt hammer butcher

What a nice pig…oh…crap

While Bergman is known for his dramas and even a few comedies, he didn’t do a ton of documentaries…but both Fårö documentaries feel personal.  This documentary is a little cleaner and a little more modern than the previous documentary.

As a second entry, this documentary almost follows the Up series from Michael Apted.  The first documentary was very much getting to know the people of Fårö, but this documentary benefits from revisiting some of those he talked to in the previous entries.  Like the Up series, we get to revisit some of the younger Fårö generation that previously mostly wanted to leave Fårö…but here even those that left seem to long for their old home.  It demonstrates the appeal and how age changes things.

Much of the documentary also deals with the struggles facing Fårö.  This largely involves the cost being a farmer, the lack of opportunity on the island, and the battle with tourism.  It is more optimistic than the previous entry, but it still shows changes.  There are more restrictions of fishing and more border disputes with the neighboring countries.

faro document 1979 fishing boat

Set sail…and thanks for all the fish!

The movie is cleaner with some nice color (which helps with flashbacks which are in black-and-white).  While the last documentary went deep into sheep and the gutting of one, this documentary features the slaughtering of a pig which will be difficult for some to watch.

Fårö is a nice watch.  It doesn’t have a ton of deeper meaning nor does it give insight to Bergman…but it feels like it says a bit more about him than a lot of his other movies.  While the subject is sometimes dry, the movie shows a love for the island that Bergman has been expressing for much of his career.  Though he talked about revisiting Fårö in 1989, Bergman never did a follow-up documentary…which is a shame.  Bergman followed Fårö Document 1979 with From the Life of the Marionettes in 1980.

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.

Leave A Response