Dictators

Q. If a dictator took over in Sweden and said, ‘You have to choose between the theatre or movies’, what would you do?

A. If a dictator took over in Sweden I think I would not exist. Because the freedom under which we work is a basis. Nobody can come to me and say. ‘Do that or do that’. Not in the theatre and not in the film. I’m my own master. And I want the actors and the technicians and the people around me to be equal. They have also to be their own masters. We have to create [the feeling of] not being afraid, not being self-conscious, feeling, in a way, happy with our work. We must feel proud that we do this thing, this object, this thing of craftsmanship.

Q. When I spoke to Orson Welles, he said that only once in his life did he have complete control of the kind that you insist on, and have had all through your career.

A. It’s absolutely impossible for me to have somebody who has nothing to do with artistic work to interfere. If he tries I ask him to go to hell.

Bergman

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