Two married musicians (Max von Sydow and Liv Ullmann) have withdrawn to a remote island, where they survive by growing and selling fruit, indifferent to everything outside their small world. Civil war and institutionalized violence overwhelm them (“Sometimes it’s like a dream. Not mine. I’m forced into someone else’s dream.”), stripping them of every pretense of autonomy, privacy, or decency, until only shame remains.  Bergman speaks of the Vietnam newsreel that gave birth to this shattering masterpiece: “An old man and woman were walking with a cow … And all of a sudden, a helicopter … started up and began making a racket … And the cow tore itself loose, and the old woman dashed away after the cow, and the helicopter rose and rose, and this old man just stood there, completely nonplussed and utterly confused and desperate.  And, somehow, more than all the atrocities I’ve seen, I experienced that third party’s misery, when everything breaks loose over his head.”