My Sister My Love (1966) - full transcript

Sweden in 1782. A young nobleman, named Jacob (Per Oscarsson) returns from France to his home and cherished sister Charlotte (Bibi Andersson) who is engaged to Baron Alsameden (Jarl Kulle). The siblings close relationship becomes incestuous and with fear that the disclosure of Charlotte's pregnancy will make society view them as libertines, the lovers ultimately choose to part, Jacob decides to leave the country and Charlotte if left to marry the Baron.

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My Sister, My Love
A film by Vilgot Sjoman

Have you forgotten
how to do that, Jacob?

Charlotte, my sister!

Jacob, my darling brother.

--You're home again!
--What are you laughing at?

Your smell. Your darling,
lovely smell. How l love it!

The French girls didn't.
Too Swedish for them.

--How l washed and scented myself!
--Oh, those fools!

--Parisienne, n'est pas?
--No, from Amsterdam, actually.

Amsterdam?
What were you doing there?

--Guess.
--Was she beautiful?



Yes. Beautiful, and married,
with three children!

--Are you educated now?
--l have consumed everything.

--Especially dramatic presentation.
--But you were to be a diplomat.

The path from the theatre to the
King's heart is not a long one.

l'm home again, my sister.
A new person.

--Five long years.
--Four and a half.

Why! She's still alive!
Old Mother Kuller.

The baby--farmer, she's alive.

And the son without a father...

Conceived of the Holy Ghost,
born of Mother Kuller.

The only miracle in Sormland.

What if she lied in court? lf she
did have him by her own father?

--There was no proof.
--Yet they still cut her ears off.

She'd have been beheaded,
if it hadn't been for Mother.



What was that flower Father loved
to draw? Was it 'eyebright'?

--l don't remember.
--Yes, eyebright it was.

How delightful to look
at you, darling sister.

Come, let's go.

--By God! How many are there now?
--Six, two more since you left.

And the pastorate is his now,
he paid 4000 riksdaler for it.

--How does he do it?
--He bribes Schroderheim, of course.

--He got half the money.
--Yes, but l meant the children...

How on earth does he make them?

lt looks just the same
in Old Mother Kuller's byre.

She had more animals before.

What song is that?

--A wench sang it in Paris.
--What's it about?

--l don't recall.
--About love, perhaps?

An idiot for a son.

Fancy bearing a punishment
like that all one's life.

Do you think it's a punishment?
Do you Jacob?

ls there someone sitting
in Heaven who said:

''Kuller the coachman
hath lain with his daughter.''

''How can l punish her?
l shall make her son deformed.''

Do you think so? Do you
really think life's like that?

lf only l were as
unafraid as you. As free!

l'm not free, Jacob.
l'm indifferent.

l am soon to marry.

My brother, my guardian,
will you give your consent?

--Who is he?
--Baron Alsmeden.

That fop!

--He has spirit, you know.
--Spirit! What sort of spirit?

He's... aware of himself.
He's penetrated himself.

Tracked himself down.
Even the King is scared of him.

He is something very fine and rare.
He is a man of sensibility.

Then he is most untrustworthy.
Sensibility brings only pain.

And you think you will be okay? That
you're the same now as when l left?

Get married then!
Go ahead!

Have children, be happy!

Come down, and stop quarreling.
She'll be calving soon.

We're coming soon, Mother Kuller.

My mind is made up, Jacob.

Thank you.

Hey, there!

Where did you get that?
Did you catch it yourself?

l'll buy this bear from you.
How much do you want?

What are you afraid of?

Do you speak Swedish?

Sell me the bear,
or l shall take it from you.

Be off with you!

Welcome home from Stockholm,
Carl Ulrik. You seem pleased?

--l am here with you.
--ls that all?

His Majesty let it be known
that he needs me.

--That shouldn't surprise you.
--lt doesn't.

Your assurance is most becoming.
May l present my brother?

Baron Jacob Gyllenhjelm,
Baron Carl Ulrik Alsmeden.

Had you been a woman, l could
have shown you the tenderness--

--l already feel for you and
embraced you in welcome.

Charlotte has spoken much of you.
l have a petition to you:

''One shall ask for a maid of
her guardian''. So says the law.

l will follow its letter.

Will you, her guardian, vouchsafe me
the happiness of Charlotte's hand?

l for my part will do
all in my power--

--to give her a good life,
affectionate and strong.

The decision rests with her.
l can only accede to her wishes.

--Say no, if you so wish.
--Why should l say no?

--l do not know your reasons.
--l have no objections to this union.

ln my late family's stead,
l welcome you into the fold.

Your exalted position, your
tender heart, all speaks for...

--You don't know me.
--l shall know you. And you me.

Are our guests here already?

Bless you!

l do hope we are not too late.
We had the children to put to bed--

--and one other task: the inmates
of our hives decided to swarm.

And honey, as you know,
is both tasty and nourishing.

You could use that, pastor.

Mention beehives in your sermon.
lt will do the peasants good.

Please come inside!

Congratulations on your
forthcoming marriage!

Uncle?

--Are you decent?
--Yes.

Uncle, l heard Jacob's voice.
l felt so dizzy, l nearly swooned.

lt is so different,
so much more manly.

--ls madam looking for someone?
--My husband. ln the Silver Cabinet.

--That way.
--Merci. Merci bien.

May l introduce Baron Gyllenhjelm?
Miss Ebba Livin.

Welcome home to Sweden.

--He does remember me?
--No. My, what's wrong?

l think you are wrong, Baron!
ln that piece there are...

...excellent passages, which...

--Where have you been?
--ln the park.

lt is a delicate age.

A delicate girl.
ln need of security.

Our family should be more grateful
that you took care of her.

--She is my penance.
--A pretty penance.

--lt must have been a great offence.
--lt was.

--As is the punishment.
--What punishment?

l do not know. Only that it
will come, when l am dead.

lt will annihilate me.

lt is the best thing that can happen
to a stinking rottenness like mine.

l thought there was salvation.
And forgiveness.

Forgiveness? What is that?

Ask the pastor! He knows.

A God who punishes for all eternity.
What a philosophy...

Do not be afraid! lt is my
philosophy. Only mine.

lt is certainly not mine.

Punishment -- if it exists,
and happiness -- if it exists--

--exist here and now.
ln this heat. ln this cool.

--And after death?
--Nothing.

No comfort, no punishment, nothing.
Just calm seas.

That is what l like about you!
A soul that knows what it believes.

The rest are lice. Horrid, loathsome.

Tell me of your transgression.
Else l cannot understand you.

l can never do that.

Not even for you.

--So you cannot reveal the victim?
--The victim, ma chere?

The victim was Jesus Christ.
ln the form of a woman, of course.

But grace, Baron?

Grace? And peas. And bees.
And St Peter's jingling keys.

You shall enter paradise,
pastor, be assured of that.

Be on your guard against that man.
He spreads dangerous heresies!

--He's not even a Christian.
--He has been, pastor. He has been.

As have we all.

l have seen you once before.
l have never forgotten it.

But you don't remember.

lt was just before you set out
on your long, long journey.

Jacob, you're home again.

--What is it?
--We must go down.

--They might miss us.
--No.

My uncle takes good care of me.
They all do.

--You leave her alone!
--Oh, shall l now?

Or l'll her about you and all
your wenching before you left.

--Go ahead. You won't scare her.
--Get her all excited then.

--But she will expect marriage.
--So? lf you can marry, so can l.

--You saved yourself for him.
--He has never touched me!

Such self--control!
But soon you will be in his power.

He will freeze me out,
little by little.

You can't mean to marry Ebba.
You don't know her.

--What do you know about that?
--You're not to touch her!

As much as l like,
when l like and how l like.

l was so miserable when you left.
l felt dead without you.

When you wrote to say you were
coming home, l was afraid.

My first real emotion for five years.
Fear rushed me into a decision.

To marry Carl Ulrik and
ask him to buy a house.

Then l waited for you. l wanted
you to withhold your consent.

You make me feel at home. Only you.
Everything else is just pretence.

We have to go down.

This must never happen
again, Jacob. Never again.

Don't be so scared.
Everyone's asleep.

They don't know where we are.

--They'll soon wake.
--No. They cannot wake up.

You see? Over there?
Wiped out.

No, they'll wake up...
Catch us.

And we'll be in the pillory.

Jacob, what are we to do,
where can we go?

Darling eyebright!

lf they drag us through the
courts, l'll take the blame.

Remember that.

--l'm dead anyway. l don't care.
--l'm happy. Don't forget that.

To think that you saved yourself
for me, just for me!

Jacob, little Jacob. You were meant
only for my eyes, nothing else.

My foxcub.
My little foxcub.

My soft, dangerous fox trap.

Oh, he is strong.

He is strong, Alsmeden.
He will snare you again.

He will not succeed.

Swear that you will
call off the engagement.

Swear!

--What do l get in return?
--Me!

--Would you dare?
--Dare what?

To live with me?

Oh Jacob, Jacob.
You're so scared!

lt's only the animals.

People are horrid! They know
everything, yet understand nothing.

No, let me go, let me go.
Not again!

You are mad!
My brother is a madman.

At his age, and with
the crucifix in his bag.

The lecherous goat.

My lusty little brother.

Are you so pleased
to have a fellow sinner?

Quiet!

There's someone down there.

Charlotte?
What is it, Charlotte?

l could not sleep.

l went for a walk and met Jacob.
He wanted to see the new buildings.

l like him.

lt distresses me
that he dislikes me.

Heavens! How he drives!

The coachman's. l took it
and he didn't notice.

--What for?
--Nothing.

The King wants to dig a canal here.
Supposing the Russians come?

They could sail right inland.

--Has the baron found a nice house?
--l presume so.

Charlotte, promise me one thing.
Promise l can come to your wedding!

--And if there is no wedding?
--But it is decided!

Dearest Charlotte,
do not make fun of everything!

Why not?

--Shall l ask him to stop?
--No.

--You are unwell.
--l am a poor traveller.

--l'll ask him to stop, and...
--Please! Enough!

What's going on now?

They're surrounding us.
What a stench!

Drive the sheep away!
We must get through.

Drive them off!
Let's go! Drive them off!

Stop that!
lt is no plaything!

--They're gone, they're gone!
--Sit down!

--What is it, Charlotte?
--Nothing, give the gun back. Quiet.

Stop, thief!
Help me! Stop, thief!

--What are they doing?
--Taking her to be whipped.

What has she done?

--Wait here.
--Can't l come with you?

--No.
--But l do so want to see it.

Another day.

--No, not that. lt can wait.
--But the wedding dress...

l'm tired. The other one, l said!

l was at the furrier's this morning.
They're all talking about it.

--Even the cook.
--Which cook?

At the tavern where l eat.
His cousin is catering your wedding.

lt's a pity there won't be one. lt
might have been a memorable party.

Four days ago l wrote to
Carl Ulrik to call off the wedding.

Mamsell has measured wrongly.
l'm absolutely sure of it.

l'll alter that at once.

Jacob? Jacob!
Come and amuse me.

Tell me about foreign parts.
About the people there.

What they think and feel.

Oh, it takes such time!

Turn away, une petite seconde!

--La porte, s'il vous plait!
--The door.

We shall both go away.
For good.

That was my business with you.
My urgent business.

We shall take new names.
lnstead of brother and sister--

--we'll be man and wife.
--And where can this happen?

We shall find a place.
We can go a long way away.

Our old lives will be dead.
We shall make new ones instead.

We shall get married.
We shall have children.

--ls it not a pleasing thought?
--Oh, yes.

What an affectionate answer...

Maybe you don't want to live with
me, or have children with me?

My incredible sister. Everything
about you is so improbable.

Do you really want to have
children with me?

No, of course not.
lt was only a game.

lt would be madness.

How hard it is to live without
God and the Devil.

--lf only l had a father to lean on.
--But you have one.

l should thank Carl Ulrik for
arranging my audience with the King.

l could kill you, you coward!
--Get out! And knock next time!

l shall come
and see you tomorrow.

--No.
--l shall send for you.

When l need you most, you
want nothing to do with me.

When l go to bed at night...

lt is terrible to be alone.
l cannot endure it.

Do not wake me. l need my
desire for other purposes.

--Tomorrow morning!
--No, Jacob.

l am no longer free.

Time has imprisoned me.
The hours, the weeks, the months.

Come in.

You are outside the fold.
l am inside it.

--Where are you going now?
--With Ebba to Count Schwartz.

That will do, thank you.
My hat.

Then where?

To look at the house
Carl Ulrik has bought us.

You should have brought
that two days ago.

--When is the escritoire coming?
--As soon as possible, sir.

And when is that, pray?

ls it really you?

l have read it, over and over.
Do you mean what you wrote?

There is more light in here.
l had to make some alterations.

Otherwise it is as we planned it.
Your wishes were sensible and wise--

--but also unexpectedly precise.

As though furnishing homes
was all you had ever done.

Where are you going now?

Back to Rimmingsnas. l shall stay
the night at Count Schwartz's.

--Tired after the journey?
--A trifle.

You can rest here.
As for me, duty calls.

--How is Schwartz?
--He has been in bed ill.

Yes, on Thursday he was
unconscious for an hour.

My study.

The nursery, as you wanted it.

Your dressing--table is
on the way from Holland.

l had intended to use every
means to persuade you--

--but this morning,
l suddenly gave up.

Only one passage in your letter
puzzled me... Kept me awake.

''The decisive reason for my attitude,
l beg to acquaint with you in person--

--when we are alone.''

Well, we shall never be
more alone than this.

''The decisive reason''. May l hear it?

Has it to do with my person?

Something you are disappointed in --
about me?

Your fragrance.

Six weeks since l smelt it.
Forty days...

...in the wilderness.

Forgive me, Charlotte.
l am ashamed of myself.

The first embrace is always clumsy.
That is the way with all lovers.

Next time l shall
make a better lover.

Not so tired.
Less eager.

l sat with the King until
half--past three this morning.

Schroderheim left at two.
Leopold before midnight.

l shaved him before l left.
That was a sight.

His Majesty being shaved by
his secretary at 4 a.m.

lt was lucky, Carl Ulrik, that you
showed me round the house.

--Yes, it was lucky.
--Or was it cleverness?

Luck, of course. Pure luck.

But things have a curious power
over women. Furniture, utensils.

How could you dream of leaving all
this? lt will be all yours!

--You are a great temptation to me.
--That's nice.

A temptation to lie.

You smile, thinking you finally
laid me low against my will.

What happened is that on the way
here, l decided to seduce you.

l had a plan you see.
Would you care to hear it?

You need not, if you don't want to.

--Well?
--l am not interested in lies.

But the truth fascinates me.

l am pregnant.

--l want children. With you.
--Do you not want to be the father?

l shall be.
lf that is what l decide.

--When did it happen?
--Soon after you left for Stockholm.

l can almost guarantee that your
reputation is uncompromised.

So that was the ''decisive'' decision.

lf only l could understand you!

lt would be easier if you married
the real father. ls he too common?

--The child has no father.
--How very strange.

Yes, isn't it?

Perhaps you got it through the ear?
Or from an angel?

--More like in a dream.
--lmmaculate?

No... l'm afraid the child
is very, very tainted.

Then we had better marry at once.
The furnishing can be...

For God's sake, Carl Ulrik!
Do not take on too much!

lt will be the ruin of us both!

You do not know what l can take...
Just one thing--

--before l accept you as my wife.
The child is mine.

lt is yours.

--l also have a condition.
--What?

That you cease to meet the real
father. ls that unreasonable?

Oh, no. lt is most reasonable.

Stop that infernal racket!
Come inside instead.

lt's cold out,
and lovely and warm in here.

What a devil of a noise.
Now they've started shooting.

Just great!
--Katarina! Come down here!

--ls there a fire?
--No it's a wedding.

--What happened to you?
--He fell into the canal.

--What were you doing?
--He was fishing for mermaids.

--What was he fishing with?
--Have you got anything to fish with?

What do you fish with?

--They're running like mad!
--Did you see the bride?

--No, they'd gone.
--Ah, so you want to see the bride?

Can you take it?
How old are you?

--l don't know.
--Yet you know what a bride is for?

Katarina! Shall we ask her
to come down? Katarina!

There's a lad here wants to
know what to do with a bride!

Come on then!
Come on!

That's how you do it!
Not so bad, eh?

Paradise! Behold, paradise!
Pretty, no?

Would you like something younger?
Katarina!

--What are you doing?
--Garnishing the pig.

Her navel!

--And in her ear!
--There too?

--ls she waking?
--No, she's unconscious.

Having fun?

To the bride!
To the bride!

To the bride!
To the bride!

He'll be a success, don't you
think? lt means so much to him.

You got it wrong again.
Yes, you did!

Mrs Olin is at her worst.

--Do you know what l am saying?
--Of course.

Who's that? Down there?
There, behind them!

ls it the King? lt must be.

He got the whole court
up at 4a.m. just to rehearse.

Oh my! So close to the King,
and l can't even see him.

--What is it?
--Nothing. l am merely bored.

--Of what?
--Of my own rottenness.

--You speak lightly of it.
--And rather revealingly, no?

With a soupcon of enjoyment.

That's my note.
l sing A and you sing C.

--l know this piece.
--So do l.

You have no monopoly on Orpheus!

Excusez--moi. His Majesty called.

Are you well?

Enough! What did you do in Paris?
Have you really studied music?

--That's it!
--Oh dear! Such a temper!

Save it for your audience!
How perfectly embarassing!

Welcome.

--We didn't like to intrude.
--Not at all! Welcome in!

lt is so nice to breathe
your own air at times.

--She is awful, the Olin woman.
--Have you recovered your health?

Yes thank you. My dear
brother--in--law, l might add.

A word foreign to me.
l will get used to saying it.

--We missed you at our wedding.
--A handsome ceremony, l hope?

Count Schwartz, you are objective.
Was my sister's wedding handsome?

Very handsome, tasteful, elegant.
As is your art.

That is what l strive after. Orpheus
is willing, but not always capable.

Eurydice is hard to win.
A fiasco is imminent.

And after the fiasco, you seek
her again. As always.

The opera has a happy end.
The finale is pure wedding music.

Excuse me.

Ebba, my eyebright. May l see you
soon? l do so need your support.

Call the surgeon!

--What are you thinking of?
--Of the punishment.

What punishment?

Go down and look.

You wanted me? Or was it
Carl Ulrik that sent for me?

--He was worried you had no money.
--So kind of him to worry about me.

--Do you have money?
--lndeed l do.

--Where is he now?
--On a midnight ride.

His Majesty's favourite playmate.
He's doing well.

Yes. He came home at five
in the morning last Tuesday.

Spent half the night
in a churchyard.

--ls he skilled?
--Skilled?

Do you play well together?
At night, l mean.

--Can he do anything l can't?
--No.

--l leave tomorrow.
--Stay.

You think so? After that fiasco?
Why should l?

Because l need you!

Do you not dare
touch me any longer?

l'm round as a burial mound.
That's why no one will touch me.

Jacob, it's no sickness to be
with child. l am not smitten.

--His child.
--lt is not his child.

lt is yours, and mine.

And you doubt my word!
Don't you want to be a father to...

Do you want me to be?

Yes.

--Why didn't you say?
--l did. Didn't you notice?

At the dressmaker's?
l even proposed to you.

l've never seen you so scared.
You thought l was mad.

That's when l knew l was
on my own, without your help.

l'm so cold.

Here. Here, l am alive.
The rest is dead.

lt is horrible to be cut off from
the only living thing l know.

l long for you terribly sometimes.
You need not feel the same for me.

--Kiss me! Kiss me!
--Charlotte. Oh, Charlotte.

l have never known what
anguish was, Jacob, never before.

Supposing the child dies,
or is deformed.

You poor sweet thing!

lt's okay.
You need not exert yourself.

--What does he know?
--Nothing. Nor will he find out.

He has only one use--
to protect our child. Remember that!

Where are you?

He went into the drawing room.
He closed the door.

--Charlotte! Are you there?
--Yes! l am here!

Stay! You stay here until l say so!
--l'm coming!

--What have you done?
--Just a drop of blood.

--What have you been doing?
--The usual. Playing with new toys.

Charcoal, chalk and blood.
Mirrors and hot rocks.

The King contacted the spirits.
They talked to him. l heard it.

Duke Karl helped him.

The King was so terrified, he fell on
Karl and begged for forgiveness.

lt was an orgy of guilt.

--Are you alone?
--Yes.

--You were talking now. To whom?
--To Jacob.

Doesn't he count?

Come down, philanderer!
Casanova!

Put your shirt on and come down.

lsn't Ebba with you?

--Where is she?
--She left as you arrived.

You expect me to believe that?

Ebba?

By God! You come here only when l
am gone. Never when invited.

--Release me.
--You give me no orders!

Fool! Did you think you could
seduce the King with your singing?

lf you meant to embarass
me, you succeeded.

l made you my protege
for Charlotte's sake!

--Get out!
--You're pathetic, Alsmeden.

Mind your tone.
This house is mine.

You have me to thank for everything.

For being here.
Protected from everything.

A fine couple you make.
Let he who can break your union.

You could have said no when l asked
for her hand. lt was your right.

What is the law for, do you think?

Do you think that
society just works?

Are whippings and beheadings just
amusements for the hoi polloi?

Emotions!

You gorge on emotions like a dog
with a bone. lt's so modern.

You are in keeping with the times.

Write as soon as you get there.
So l know how you are.

So l can say when
you can come home.

--Have you fallen out?
--Yes!

--ls he still here?
--No.

Then why are you still here?
Get up to bed.

Tell her to go.

--Off with you.
--Stay.

Tell her to leave!

Do not be afraid -- l shall not
harm her, merely apologise.

l hate you.
l could kill you.

At last, the truth! Why make such
an effort with such a lost cause?

Because l am the equal of anything.

Your goodness is appalling.
l distrust it more than l can say.

--Strike me and be done with it.
--After my child is born.

lt is not your child!

--As you will, the child is yours.
--And no one else's.

--You can keep the father secret.
--And so l shall.

lt is his child, is it not?

l love you.
And him.

And your child.

Sometimes when l wake up at night,
l have given birth to your child.

l have done it. Not you.

l have given birth to it.

Just to be able to be with you.

To be with us?

To lie with us,
is that what you mean?

At least l would
feel less left out.

Did l really say l loved you?

Then l lied to you.

l accept all that you do,
but not out of love.

Then why do you?

Out of lust for power.
Nothing else.

Shall l help you?
ls that better?

Miss!

Look! Fancy her daring to go there!

To that witch.

Everything just runs through my
fingers. l take opium to sleep--

--but it doesn't help.
l'm awake all the time.

No one judges me, l know that.
But l'm still awfully scared.

--What are you afraid of?
--The punishment.

Tell me at once.
l have to know.

No lies, Mother Kuller.
l can accept only the truth.

Was it your own father?

--May l have your pistol?
--lf l may come hunting with you.

--We shall see.
--Please!

--When did you recieve these?
--Last week. By post from Antwerp.

--ls that where he is, your Jacob?
--Cologne... Hamburg...

--Brussels.
--Vagabond!

Do you know why he went?
He asked me not to say.

Then l do not think you should.

He is fulfilling a duty.

l admire your trust in him.

He is expecting a baby, with a
woman he cannot forsake.

He will return when it is born.
She is with him on his travels.

--Oh, l don't think so.
--ls he lying to me?

--Yes, l do.
--Why should he lie to me?

--You do not know him.
--Evidently not.

Where is she then? The woman
who is expecting his child.

--You lie about everything!
--Leave me alone!

--l don't believe you.
--Be quiet, and go.

--You think l'm going to believe...
--Just go!

Get the doctor.

Get the doctor!

Water! Water!

A healthy child.
A healthy, normal child.