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The Magician

Hypnotist and illusionist Albert Vogler is on his way to Stockholm with his troupe. The authorities are wary: is he a charlatan?

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Deze voorstelling maakt deel uit van Rialto Filmclub met als gastspreker deze maand Ernst-Jan Pfauth.

The Magician

Sweden, 19th century: hypnotist and illusionist Albert Vogler is on the road with his Magnetic Health Theatre, they have almost reached Stockholm. Vogler and the other members of his troupe, among them his grandmother, his wife, and his charismatic assistant Tubal, possess magical, mesmerizing powers. The authorities, led by Dr. Vergerus, the Minister of Health Minister, suspect fraud. Convinced that they are dealing with a charlatan or quack, they ask Vogler to demonstrate his abilities to them first before allowing him to give a show in the city. At first, Vogler manages to dazzle his sceptics...

Bergman liked to work with the same group of actors. One of them was Max von Sydow, who plays Albert Vogler in this film. Oscillating between symbolic dreams and realism, Bergman tells a story about the relationship of art to reality, and of science to (dis)belief and superstition.