Scenes from a Marriage

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Scenes from a Marriage (original Swedish title: Scener ur ett aktenskap) (1973), a TV miniseries in play format, written and directed by Ingmar Bergman, follows the deteriorating relationship of Marianne and Johann, a wealthy couple, over many years.


Marianne: Are we living in confusion?
Johan: You and I?
Marianne: No, all of us.
Johan: What do you mean?
Marianne: I'm talking about fear, uncertainty and ignorance. Do you think that secretly we're afraid we're slipping downhill and just don't know what to do?
Johan: Yes, I think so.
Marianne: So is it too late?
Johan: Yes. But we shouldn't say things like that. Just think them.
Marianne: Have we missed something important?
Johan: All of us?
Marianne: Yes...

Marianne: I felt inadequate at work and at home, and I was a washout in bed too. I was hedged in by all the griping and endless demands! Goddamn you! Was it so strange that I used sex for leverage? I was outnumbered, having to fight you, both sets of parents and society! When I think about what I endured, I could scream! I tell you this: never again! You sit there whining about conspiracies. Well, it serves you right! I hope you'll have it rammed down your throat that you're a useless parasite.
Johan: You're being utterly grotesque!
Marianne: So what? That's what I've become!

Marianne: Sometimes you ask such goddamn silly questions.
Johan: Sorry. Are you angry with me?
Marianne: I'm not angry, but I'm on the verge of tears. The trouble with me is that I can't get angry. I wish that for once in my life I could really lose my temper, as I sometimes feel I have every right to. I think it would change my life. But that's not the point. You spoke earlier about loneliness. That bit about being strong on your own. I don't believe in your gospel of isolation.I think it's a sign of weakness.
Johan: What's wrong, Marianne?
Marianne: It's so... humbling.
Johan: What's humbling?
Marianne: I think about you... and I think about myself and about the future. I can't see how you're going to cope without me. Sometimes I think in desperation, "I must look after Johan. He's my responsibility. It's up to me to make sure he's all right. That's the only our lives will be worthwhile." I don't believe people are strong all on their own. You have to have someone's hand to hold.