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Bergman's funeral is low-key, as he wished

August 20, 2007|From the Associated Press

STOCKHOLM -- A few dozen family and friends of Ingmar Bergman attended his funeral Saturday on the small Swedish island where he spent his final years -- a low-key affair in keeping with the legendary filmmaker's wishes.

Bergman was 89 when he died July 30 at his home on Faro.

Mourners gathered in the modest Faro Church, where Bergman's remains lay in a simple pine coffin flanked by red roses. There were no speeches. An organ and cello played Bach.

The filmmaker was buried in a secluded plot he chose himself, near the church wall, overlooking the cemetery, his family said in a statement.

A single photographer was allowed to take pictures; other media and the public were barred.

Around 75 people attended, including Bergman's children and actors Liv Ullmann, Bibi Andersson, Peter Stormare and Erland Josephson.

Bergman left written instructions for handling the funeral: No eulogies or a profusion of flowers but simple choir and cello music, according to the Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet, citing his son, also named Ingmar.

Remembered around the world as one of the greatest masters of cinema, Bergman made about 60 movies -- including classics such as "The Seventh Seal" and the Oscar-winning "Fanny and Alexander" -- before retiring from filmmaking in 2003.

Bergman's film vision encompassed all the extremes of his beloved Sweden: the claustrophobic gloom of unending winter nights, the gentle merriment of glowing summer evenings and the bleak magnificence of the Baltic Sea island where he spent his last years.

He lived alone on Faro and often praised his neighbors for the privacy they granted him.

"When people come and ask where Ingmar Bergman lives, they never have any clue," the director said in a rare TV interview in 2004.

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