CANNES, FRANCE: Ingrid Bergman died in peace with the United States, the country that chased her out over a scandalous romance in 1950, according to Isabella Rossellini, the daughter of the Swedish film icon. Bergman’s career included films directed by Jean Renoir, Ingmar Bergman, Alfred Hitchcock and Roberto Rossellini, who became her second husband and father of three of her children.
Her love affair with the Italian film maker while they were both still married sparked outrage in the United States with a senator even saying she was “a powerful influence for evil”.
“Mama of course was very hurt because she could not see her daughter (Pia) from her first marriage. She was hurt by the scandal, she felt she paid such a high price for it but eventually it was resolved. She made peace with it,” Isabella Rossellini said on Sunday.
The Italian actor was speaking ahead of the release at the Cannes Film Festival of Ingrid Bergman in her own words, a documentary film about her mother’s life. Cannes is paying tribute to Bergman, who would have turned 100 this year. A picture of the Swedish actor, who died in 1982 from breast cancer, features on the festival’s official poster.
“Mama wrote a letter to my father saying ‘I want to work with you’ and she ended the letter saying ‘in Italian I can only say ti amo (I love you)’ and of course the press used that to say women are sexual predators,” Rossellini said, explaining the origins of the scandal.
“In 1949 they made a first film together, Stromboli, and they fell in love and my mother became pregnant with my brother Roberto before she could obtain a divorce”.
“This created a big scandal and she was chased out of America because they felt that foreigners and stars, we come to America, and then behave immorally and are bad examples to the younger generations.”
The new documentary uses 16-mm archive footage showing the actress, presented as a carefree, joyful and bold character, behind the scenes on filmsets but also at home with her family.