One of the most anticipated films of the Seattle International Film Festival was Saraband, which Ingmar Bergman has said will be his "swan song". The film stars Liv Ullman and Erland Josephson, reprising their roles as Marianne and Johan from 1973's Scenes From a Marriage, another Bergman film originally made for television - but you don't need to have seen the first to appreciate the second.
Before the movie started, the SIFF staff member doing the intro told us that a "saraband" is an intricate dance; the Sarabande is also part of Bach's famous cello suites. The suites were developed as Baroque dance music in six movements; the fourth movement, the Sarabande, is a 3-beat slow dance from Spain, and is considered the emotional heart of the suite. The Sarabandes are notoriously intricate and difficult to play.
The film's title is remarkably apt; this is a complex film about relationships - specifically, the complicated relationships within this dysfunctional family: Marianne's with her daughters, who she never sees; Marianne's with Johan; Johan's with his son Henrik and granddaughter Karin; and Henrik, Karin and Johan's relationship with Henrik's deceased wife, Anna, revealed through a series of emotional dialogues.