Persona is a 1966 black and white Swedish film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman and starring Bibi Andersson and Liv Ullmann. Persona's story revolves around a young nurse named Alma (Bibi Andersson) and her patient, a well-known stage actress named Elisabet Vogler (Liv Ullmann), who has suddenly ceased to speak. The Latin word persona originally referred to the masks worn by actors on stage.
Persona has been labelled a psychological drama and modernist horror and was subject to cuts due to the film's controversial subject matter. It is the sixth collaboration between influential cinematographer Sven Nykvist and director Ingmar Bergman and features their trademark minimalism. As with Bergman's other works, the film is shot and set in Sweden and deals with the themes of illness, bleakness, death and insanity.
Persona is considered one of the major works of the 20th century by essayists and critics such as Susan Sontag who referred to it as Bergman's masterpiece. Other critics have described it as "one of this century's great works of art". In the British Film Institute's 2012 Sight & Sound's poll, Persona was ranked the 17th greatest film ever made in the critics' poll (tied with Akira Kurosawa's "Seven Samurai") and 13th in the directors' poll. Persona won the award for Best Film at the 4th Guldbagge Awards and it was Sweden's entry to the 39th Academy Award category for Best Foreign Film.