Fellow Swede Suzanne Osten will turn the script for “Sixty four minutes with Rebecka” (Sextiofyra minuter med Rebecka) into a feature film after overseeing a radio play of the work, Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN) has revealed.
Bergman wrote the script at his Fårö home in 1969 as his contribution to a partnership with fellow directing greats Akira Kurosawa and Federico Fellini. The project fell apart however, and the draft was forgotten about until the auteur donated it along with the rest of his archive to what would become the Ingmar Bergman Foundation in the early 2000s.
Film and stage director Osten has crafted a radio play out of the script which is set to premier on Swedish radio station P1 on November 6th, and the Mozart Brothers director is now taking on the film version, with the goal of releasing it in 2018 to coincide with what would have been Bergman’s 100th birthday.
An intense drama about a pregnant, alienated teacher for deaf mutes, according to Osten, “Sixty four minutes…” is Bergman’s most feminist film. Its politically-charged nature is perhaps not a surprise considering it was produced at a time where political European film movements like the French Nouvelle Vague were in vogue.
It is thought that Bergman planned to make the movie in English under the title “The white wall”, but at the moment the idea is to keep most of the script in its original Swedish, Osten told The Local.
“As I see it now it will be in several languages, but Swedish predominantly,” she wrote via e-mail.
The Ingmar Bergman Foundation has described the process of uncovering the script as akin to “finding an unpublished draft by Ernest Hemingway or an unknown painting by Picasso”.
“It’s Bergman at the height of his power and up to the standard of the best he done, this is no early work written for the drawer,” Bergman Foundation CEO Jan Holmberg told DN.
That’s certainly a high bar to set. Anyone not familiar with Bergman’s work and where it stands in Swedish film canon should take a read of our list of 30 Swedish movies you must see before you die.