Gertrud (1964) Script

A PORTRAIT FROM THE TURN OF THE CENTURY


Gertrud.

Gertrud.

Ah, you're home.

I'm just going.

Are you going to a meeting this evening?

Yes, a committee meeting.

I'll probably go to the opera and sit in my usual corner.

What's on? Fidelio.

Come.

Let's have a talk.

I've got something to tell you. Hmm?

By the way, did Mother call? No.

Well, she has to collect her money.

Is that what you wanted to tell me?

No.

Come. Sit down.

Tell me, Gertrud, how would you like to become a minister's wife?

That depends on which minister you want me to marry.

Minister Kanning.

So, that's the news.

You'll become a minister?

Yes.

But you've never supported the government.

No, but they feel a little spice won't hurt.

And you're that little spice.

Coming home I met that new musical genius...

Erhard Jansson, isn't it?

Erland Jansson, if he's the one you mean.

Yes, Erland Jansson. Is he a genius?

So they say.

But what do you say? You know about music.

Know whom else I met?

No.

Gabriel Lidman.

I didn't mean to hurt you.

I know.

I asked him to call on us.

Will he? He said he would.

He's been away a long time.

Well, two years. Three.

Some letters - bills, I suppose.

Thanks.

Lidman's picture is in the paper.

May I see?

He looks his old self.

Yes, he hasn't changed much.

Did you tell him you would make the main speech?

He knew.

I'm looking forward to seeing him.

Why did you break with him?

Let's not talk about it.

No.

No, that part of your life is forgotten.

You've said it's over and I believe you.

I've considered your relationship with Lidman as none of my concern.

You were a free, independent woman.

You were an artist and a famous poet.

It was a different matter then.

Was it?

Of course.

What are you laughing at?

I'm only smiling.

I was thinking of all those poor people who permit themselves love, although they're neither artists nor famous.

Oh...

Have you noticed my brief-case anywhere?

Yes, it's in the hall.

Thanks.


How beautiful you are, Gertrud.

This mirror was a present from Gabriel Lidman, so that when I awoke I'd be reflected in something beautiful.

So he said. I know.

Later, you gave me another mirror, less Rococo, and now his mirror is here, in your room.

Let me kiss you, Gertrud.

It gets dark early now.

Then I'd better be going.

I seek your lips and you turn aside.

For over a month your door has been closed to me.

There was a time when I was welcome.

I often lie awake thinking of you.

I wonder if you love someone else, who it might be...

Damn! There's Mama.

Hello.

Hello, Gustav. Hello, Mama.

Oh, these stairs!

Hello, dear Gertrud. Mother-in-law.

Come.

Do sit down. Thanks.

You are late.

I fell asleep over a new book. I try to keep up with the times.

Which book was it?

What was the name? I have forgotten. Who wrote it?

I don't know, it was very strange.

About what?

I don't remember, but I can't fathom these modern authors.

Some tea? Thank you, dear, but I'd prefer port.

With pleasure. Thank you.

Dear Gertrud, she really is a good wife for you.

Yes, she is.

I tell everybody.

Do they ask?

Nobody asks, but people gossip, you know.

But there's been nothing to reproach her for since you've been married.

So far, at least.

And that old yarn about her and...

Lidman. Lidman, yes.

Well, that was gossip, of course. Of course.

Yes.

But to change the subject- people say you'll be a minister.

People say many things.

What's a minister's salary?

One makes sacrifices. Oh dear.

You'll regret that.

Think of your father, think of his sacrifices.

And what did he gain?

Huh? A couple of medals.

No, Gustav, stick to legal practice.

Forget about the country. That's my advice.

Little Mama, if I become a minister it will be for my own sake.

Gertrud will be invited to the court ball, won't she?

I doubt if she's bothered.

Here you go. Thank you.

Here you go. Thank you.

Yes.

Well, Gertrud, how do you like being a minister's wife?

I don't know. Nothing is settled yet.

The Prime Minister will telephone me at five.

But we mustn't forget your money.

Let me get them.

Can't you get her to go? I must talk to you.

Mama, I'm afraid Gertrud and I have to go out.

Yes, it's almost five, and I've got so much to do.

You haven't taken your money.

Thank you so much. Goodbye.

Goodbye, Mama.

Goodbye, little Gertrud. Goodbye Mother-in-law.

Well, what's on your mind?

Something I've wanted to say for a long time, and now I can't put it off any longer.

This will hurt you.

Gustav, I won't become a minister's wife.

What do you mean?

I no longer wish to be your wife.

Gertrud, what do you mean?

Remember what you said when we were engaged?

That if, one day, one of us wished to be free, then the other shouldn't prevent it.

Do you remember?

Yes, I remember.

I was rather hurt at the time.

I couldn't imagine anything but us together all our lives.

When I saw that you were fond of me, I came to you and said I wanted to be yours.

And I would never have gone back on that day.

Now you want to leave me.

Gertrud, I don't understand at all.

Oh, Gustav.

There's so much that has changed.

We have changed ourselves.

I love you, Gertrud.

Love is such a big word.

There is so much you love.

You love power and honour.

You love yourself.

You love your wisdom, your books, your cigars.

And I don't doubt you've loved me, occasionally.

How can you say things like that?

Well...

Sometimes in the evening, you just sit for hours, staring, without saying a word.

I'm thinking of things, I suppose.

Things? Yes.

My cases, my work.

Your work...

Yes. There we have it.

You think of your work only.

Do you think it's indifference?

It's worse than indifference.

It's lack of feeling.

A woman loves her husband above all else.

But work comes first for him.

Isn't that a law of nature?

Naturally, it's in the nature of the man to work, to create.

But work mustn't expel the woman from his thoughts.

I often feel as if I didn't really have a husband.

As if I were meaningless to you.

What more have you got to say against me?

That you, in a very humiliating way, show me how little you care about me.

Do I exist for you at all?

You never guess my wishes or my thoughts.

Whether I am happy or sad makes no difference at all to you.

It seems that what you are blaming me for is my devotion to my work.

The man I am to be with must be mine entirely.

I must have precedence.

I won't just be a toy to be played with now and again.

But, Gertrud, dear, love cannot fill a man's life.

It would be ridiculous - for a man.

Perhaps... it would be ridiculous.

But there you see how little I mean to you.

How negligible the empty space I leave will be.

Gertrud, what are you keeping from me?

Is there someone else?

Call it that, if you like.

You love someone else?

Yes.

Has it already happened?

No.

But will it happen?

Gertrud, you're driving me mad.

Oh, no.

The woman who could drive you mad does not exist.

You don't believe that, do you?

Who is he?

Do you think I'll answer that?

Is it a man who wants to marry you?

Maybe I'll take up singing again and support myself.

Gertrud!

Who is it?

I can tell you this much - it's a man from outside our circle.

Where did you meet?

Gertrud!

Do you intend to leave here and now?

No, dear, but I thought I ought to tell you now.

We can discuss it further later on.

We're going to the banquet tomorrow.

If only you could explain how it happened.

Things are easier when one understands.

What more can I explain?

I don't understand it myself.

There is only one thing that I know - love has got hold of me.

Hasn't it upset you to tell me this?

Was it just like quitting a job?

I've suffered for nights and days, not knowing how to tell you.

Gertrud!

I can't accept this.

You've accepted it better than I feared.

It was easier for both of us.

Where are you going?

As I told you...

Tonight I'm going to the opera.

Goodbye, Gustav.


Have you been waiting long? Yes, too long.

Forgive me, my love.

I'll try.

Do you love me?

You must say it.

I love you.

Say it once more.

I love you.


I love you.

But we must talk about it seriously.

What can I be to you?

Let me lead my own life. It can never be yours.

You are everything to me.

My new life, in joy and in sorrow.

In sorrow? Yes.

It's my sorrow to have to love you as I do, though I don't understand you.

I'm only a caprice to you.

You sent me roses.

After your first concert - two roses and a card.

And I had no answer, not even thanks.

I got many roses.

And we met. Do you remember the first kiss?

I remember lots of kisses, a rain of kisses.

Devastating kisses that made me gasp for breath.

I thought of you alone.

When I saw you at the concert I had to love you.

Yet when I ask you to be mine, you hold back.

Though you say I mean everything to you.

You do.

And do you know how that happened?

I had never heard your voice.

I had to hear it to know if you were the one I must love.

Then I went to see you.

God knows how I summoned the courage.

Fortunately I was in.

Yes?

Come in.


Eternal winged child and God Once more I have heard your stern command Once more my heart has obeyed Once more I am lonely Amidst the satisfied crowd Your burning severity Will bring me sufficient happiness

Darkness has made a pearl Night has created a dream It shall live concealed within me Dazzling white and tender The song must sound within the heart Painfully sweet and cruel While my shining pearl Grows within its dark surroundings


It's as though I heard the song for the first time.

I'm tired.

I was drinking with my friends last night.

As usual.

Is that a necessary part of being an artist?

I don't know, but it's necessary for me.

Some of us spent the night together.

At four in the morning we ended up in a pub, where two crooks cheated us at cards.

They were wonderful types, really charming.

Did you play, too?

I dozed most of the time, thinking about a theme.

It's still on my mind.

I'd do great things with it, if I could get down to it.

Erland, you mustn't go around wasting yourself like that.

Will you stay at home tonight?

I've been invited out. By whom?

A fellow who's set up a flat for a girl he's keeping.

Her name is Constance.

I want to go to the party.

Don't go.

Why not? Because I ask you.

I've also asked for something which you could have given me.

Erland, you can create so much music and give it to everyone.

The way you are living it will die, sooner than you think.

And as for the inspirations you get in a stinking beer cellar, Erland, they aren't worth anything.

Erland, I beg you!

I beg you as though I beg for my life - don't go!

I live as I must.

It's in my blood.

I'd still go, even if I promised you not to.

Well... then it's better if you don't promise.

I live as I please.

Tomorrow it will begin all over again.

Gabriel Lidman, the great poet, has returned and will be honoured.

He will be fifty.

As though it is a great achievement to be fifty!

Then we'll meet there - I'm going, too.

Your husband, too? Yes.

The politician.

Now he'll be a minister, too.

Poor devil!

What do you mean?

You're talking about someone you don't know.

I'm sorry.

Erland...

I've just had a long talk with him.

That's why you had to wait.

I set myself free today.

I'm my own mistress now.

Does that mean... Yes.

You said that my life could never be yours.

But, Erland, it can.

From now on I want to be yours, completely.

I had a dream last night.

What was it?

I ran naked through the streets, pursued by hounds.

I woke up when they caught me.

I realised that we two were quite alone in the world.

Give me your lips.

Your wonderful lips.

Where to now?

To your flat.

Come.


Gertrud...

Do you dare?

I mean, if... Shh... Erland!

I love you, Erland.

And if you ask me whether I dare, I'll answer, "Yes, Erland, I dare, because I trust you."

Do you like me?

I could never, never like anyone else.

I wouldn't like to go on living without having given myself to you.

Strange woman.

Who are you really?

I am many different things.

Which?

The morning dew that drips from the leaves

and the white, floating cloud that drifts no one knows where.

What more?

I'm the moon...

I'm the sky...

And more?

Yes.

I'm a mouth...

A mouth seeking another mouth.

As in a dream.

It is a dream.

Life... is a dream.

Life? Yes.

Life is a long, long row of dreams that overlap each other.

And the mouth you talked of?

A dream.

And the mouth you sought?

Also a dream.


May-

Play what? A nocturne.

Debussy?

No, your own.


I thought of many things as I came home from the meeting.

About how one person dreams his life away, while others rush headlong.

Slowly and clumsily life slips through our fingers, no matter what we do.

And I thought how the most precious thing in my own life was about to slip from my hands without my being able to understand or explain.

I remembered an old saying:

"Take care that the treasure God gives you

"doesn't slip through your fingers."

We can never take enough care of the things we treasure.

I wanted to see my wife.

I wanted to walk arm in arm with her, as we have often done on our happy nights.

Then I thought of meeting her from the opera.


Can I help you?

I was looking for my wife. She must have left.

Mrs Kanning hasn't been here.

Are you sure? Yes, I've been here all evening.

Do you know my wife? I certainly do.

She used to sing here.

Here you go.


Oh, Erland.

Here with you I've lived again.

I can't tell you how happy I am.

Are you yourself again? Yes.

Now we will live together.

Do you think we can?

I love you.

Oh, Erland, all my love is waiting for you now.

Gertrud.


Erland? Yes.

Now maybe you won't go to Constance's party.

At Florabakken.


Lights ablaze today we carry The fire burns clearly as your words Our torches burn in your honour Be welcomed to your native soil See us hoist the golden candles Widely travelled, lofty free spirit Hear our pleas from the young hearts of the nation Give us new works from your hand Lights ablaze today we carry The fire burns clearly as words of truth Our free thoughts are our honour We'll fight proudly for all we believe We will exorcise the power of winter's might That's the goal for our future See us emerge from the paths of life Amid hope's beautiful fiery glow

Dear Gabriel Lidman.

We are here on behalf of students and young people to honour you as a great poet of love.

The parents of most of today's youth have lived a life devoid of love, thanks to their religious upbringing.

That generation's idea of sex as something dirty and vulgar has been an attitude alien to you always.

The idea of your love-doctrine is that true love is possible in one way only - the union of hearts and minds.

In your hymn to love you describe two people's absorption of one another in a love which gives eternal warmth and tenderness to their intimate relationship.

Allow me to quote:

He never relinquished her lips.

Ever deeper did they sink into each other.

He felt as if he were journeying in space.

A red star shone in the white haze of the moon.

Dimly at first, almost dying.

Then brighter and nearer.

It grew, became a flaming pool.

He burned without pain.

And the flames cooled his tongue like sharp wine.

We discover infinity and eternity in sexual ecstasy.

This is the greatness of your concept of eroticism.

This is love without boundaries.

For this love man was created and called upon.

Two things have always been important to me and are still more important than anything else.

These two things are love and thought.

Love has already been spoken of.

As for thought, we should always have the courage to think good thoughts.

For it is good thoughts which lead us to the path of truth.

And truth is the only worthwhile thing.

The thoughts that matter are those that lead to truth.

Pure truth, without bias.

In your search for this truth, it is important to remain true to yourself, and never compromise.

Have courage to think good thoughts.

Remember the words of the French philosopher:

"An honest soul has no need to hide his thoughts."


Yes, we are coming, listen to our voices You shall know, your words have weight Speak strong and clear, so no one forgets The fight for the nation's new open generation Our minds are young and full of vigour Pure wills made from hard steel We shall reach every goal for which we strive Show us the way to yet greater goals

Honourable President, ladies and gentlemen, I have had the great honour to be asked to speak tonight about my old friend Gabriel Lidman.

Gabriel Lidman is the aristocrat of our poets.

His most outstanding quality is his honesty.

Honesty in great matters as well as small.

He avoids mediocrity, even when it is hidden beneath a noble exterior.

His nature reveals a charming peculiarity.

His behaviour always seems to be subdued.

When he speaks, he does it so quietly that one is forced to listen.

He never gets carried away.

Are you unwell?

Maybe it is the heat.

His speech may be faintly ironic, but never caustic.

He loves silence.

Inspiring silence.

Still bad?

Yes, as if my head is splitting.

Shouldn't you rest?

Yes. It doesn't usually last long. He never writes a word too many.

Each sentence is well considered, well shaped, as supple as a rapier.

He avoids specious talk, sentimentality, false pathos, untruth.

You won't be disturbed here.

Would you like the other door shut?

Yes, shut it.

A Professor Nygren wishes to see Mrs Kanning.

Is it really you, Axel? Yes.

I thought you were in Paris.

Yes, but I had business to attend to here.

How kind of you to come to me.

I heard you had a bad headache.

I have some really marvellous tablets.

Which will get rid of even the worse headaches.

What are they? They are made in Vienna.

From Paris? All the actors in Paris swear by them.

You can keep the powder, but please bring a glass of water.

Of course, I will do.

Now that Professor Nygren is here, please don't let me detain you.

If madam so wishes...

Thank you so much for taking care of me.

I was glad to be of some help.

Thanks.

Thanks.

Well?

I feel better already.

Oh Axel, how good it is to see you again.

You haven't changed.

Neither have you. The same magical radiance.

When we last met you were working on a book.

About free will - I'm still at it.

I'm glad you still believe in free will.

My father was a mournful fatalist.

He taught us that everything in life was predestined.

I remember you once said, "To want is to choose."

But my father said there's no such thing as choice.

You chose neither your wife nor children, he said.

They are given to you, you don't choose.

Destiny controls everything.

Then you know what to go by. Thank you.

I prefer to choose my husbands myself.

In plural? Yes.

Well, you've been in Paris.

Doing what? Studying.

Psychology? Yes, and psychiatry.

There are many things happening in that field.

It must be exciting.

It is. There are half a dozen of us working together.

How?

We hypnotise each other. We experiment with telepathy.

We've found an old woman with a sixth sense.

And we discuss and argue all the time.

About what?

All sorts of things - psychosis, neurosis, dreams and symbols.

How I envy you.

Come and join us in Paris. You'll enjoy it.

I'm sure I would.

That's... that dream I had night before last.

Long may he live!

Hurrah, hurrah!

Kanning has finished his speech.

He'll be here soon.

It was nice to see you again, Axel.

It's a pity you're leaving so soon.

Thank heaven you're looking better, Gertrud.

I feel much better now.

Axel brought some wonderful pills.

Many thanks.

The most important thing is that they worked. Good bye!

Goodbye, Axel.

I hope to see you again soon.


Gertrud, I must talk to you while we're alone.

Last night when I came home, your door was closed.

I was asleep. That's impossible.

Why?

I took a cab home from the opera.

You went there?

That's not what you wanted to say.

You'd like to ask: "Do you want to know if I went to the opera?"

Wasn't that it?

You say nothing.

You know why?

You don't want to lie.

You weren't at the opera.

And you weren't at home.

Does it do any good to talk about it?

Yes.

You should at least know one thing:

I didn't go to the opera to spy on you, but because I missed you.

Desperate because you want to leave me.

Please don't say any more.

Tell me, Gertrud, where were you yesterday?

Gustav, after our conversation yesterday, you must know that your question is meaningless.

I'm your husband, Gertrud.

I'm still your husband.

I don't recognise you.

Is it you speaking like this?

Yesterday, when you told me the story about the opera, did you know what you intended to do?

Yes.

I knew what I intended to do.

And when I told you a lie, it was to spare you.

It wasn't to be insidious or cowardly.

You know that I am honest.

Yes, God help us!

No woman ought to be that honest.

But I won't let you go, don't think that.

Will you lock me up?

Do be sensible.

You shall stay with me tonight.

One last night.

Then you can go where you like.

And later... be destroyed by filth and disgrace, if that's what you want.

You don't know what you're saying.

I'll go and rest.


So, there you are.

How is Gertrud?

A slight indisposition - she feels better now.

But tell me, how does it feel to be back on native soil?

Well, the soil part of it is all right, and the air, fields and forests, too, but not the people.

The people disgust me.

I happened to land in a rather mixed party last night.

Extremely mixed, but never mind that.

Why worry? It's probably better to laugh at it all.

Yes, well, I'm going back to Rome.

I can't work here.

But I hear you're to be a minister.

It looks like it, if one can trust the papers.

One has to. One must trust something in this world.

Mr Kanning, the President would like to see you.

I'm coming.


Come and sit down.

You are still young and gentle, like a bride.

Oh, yes.

The light hurts my eyes.

You look as if you've had an unpleasant experience.

I was in bad company last night. I'd rather not think of it.

Everything changes and nothing matters.

You used to talk about the life's work before you.

You've become a great and famous man, and now nothing really matters?

How are you really, Gabriel?

Oh, I feel as an old dog might.

Gertrud, can you tell me why I came back?

That was what I intended to ask you.

A sort of nostalgia, I suppose. For one street in particular.

A street I often think of.

One day, in the spring sunshine, I walked down it weeping.

Yes.

I have wept, too. Many times.

I find it a relief.

Let's think of something cheerful. You've returned victorious.

Victorious?

We aren't talking of the same thing.

I lost the only battle I cared about.

Gertrud.

Why did you leave me?

No, we won't talk about that.

As I said, I was in bad company last night.

I had dinner with an old friend, then other people arrived.

One of them invited us to a party at his girlfriend's.

Constance.

At Florabakken.

How on earth...

Oh, I've heard about her.

It's a small city, you know.

I know.

Well, I went. Wiser men than I have sat at the courtesan's table.

What happened then?

You've aroused my curiosity.

What is it they are playing?

That we're hearing now?

Song in the Night, by Erland Jansson.

Yes, I've heard it in Rome.

I was moved when I discovered it was composed by a fellow-countryman.

A lovely melody.

Yes.

It's beautiful.

Wasn't Erland Jansson going to play here tonight?

So they said, but I don't care - I dislike him.

Do you know him?

Yes. Unfortunately.

I wish I didn't.

When did you meet him?

I know him, too.

Gertrud, Gertrud...

Why did you leave me?

Now we're changing the subject.

You were going to tell me about this party.

It was last night that I met Erland Jansson.

He turned up at the party.

Well, you don't object to sitting at the courtesan's table.

Why should he?

Not at all, but I dislike him.

He brags about things others would keep to themselves.

For example?

He boasts about his mistresses.

That isn't very nice of him.

No, really.

In that atmosphere of drinking, gambling and lechery, he boasted of his latest conquest.

He mentioned her name.

Her beloved name.

Gertrud.

Was it too wicked of me to tell you this?

I don't know.

I don't understand.

I don't know anything.

I had to do it. That's how I felt.

I had to. Yes... yes.

You had to.

Oh, Gabriel!

Help me to understand this.

I can't.

I only understand what I have done or could have done.

This I don't understand.

He must have been ill.

No, but he was drunk - and then, he's so young.

Yes, he is so young.

And he comes from a different milieu.

Yes... yes.

Gertrud.

You will break up with him, won't you?

I love him.

I... love him.

But it's madness.

Yes.

No one can advise you or help you.

No.

I have known all the time that it was madness.

But I had so little to lose, Gabriel.

My life has been so appallingly lonely and empty.


Last night my life was shattered.

When one sees what one has loved more than all else...

When one has to see that soiled by a new generation, then one becomes old.

Oh, Gertrud, I didn't expect that we should meet in this way.

But things are never as one expects.

What did you expect, Gabriel?


Oh, Gabriel!

Gabriel, you take it so much to heart.

No... no, you mustn't leave me like this.

Gertrud, the President asked me to say that he hoped you'd sing tonight.

And what did you reply?

I said I'd try to persuade you to sing one or two songs, but I couldn't promise that I'd succeed.

Yes, I would like to.

But where?

In here.

Who will accompany me?

Mr Erland Jansson has promised.

But there's no piano.

There's one in there. I'll have it moved.


Many thanks.

I feel no resentment, although my heart is broken In the midst of my despair, I see how you suffer And I feel no resentment And I feel no resentment Although your forehead is youthful and unlined I know the heavy burden your heart must carry I have known it for a long time

I feel no resentment, my friend now lost forever


Have you been waiting long?

A few minutes.

I couldn't come sooner.

You don't look at all well.

I know.

But I had to talk to you.

Why did you break down last night?

I was exhausted. You know I had a scene with my husband.

Was he brutal to you?

How can you think that?

If he loves you, he must turn vicious if you go.

He's not the kind of man to be vicious.

Well, I hardly know him.

He seems very pleasant. What have you got against him?

Why do you want to divorce him? We could still be friends.

Erland, I'm leaving.

That's why I wanted to see you.

Have you come to say goodbye?

That depends on you.

How do you mean?

Erland, come away with me.

It's impossible.

Because you haven't got any money?

I haven't.

I have enough to begin with.

Should I live on your money, then?

Yes.

You'd despise me.

Then you don't know what love is, Erland.

I would despise myself.

Don't you do that anyway, sometimes?

Yes, sometimes.

Yet I can't despise myself for doing what I must.

I'd better tell you I went to Constance's party after all.

I had to!

Yes...

Yes, you had to... had to...

That's the key-word.

Erland...

Is it just because of that damned money you won't come?

Gertrud, I...

I have to think it over.

You said we could still love each other without my divorce.

That sounded nasty.

I don't understand?

It didn't seem to bother you the other day.

Oh, Erland!

When will we speak the same language?

Erland, my love, come away with me.

We don't have to be married, we'll just live together.

I love you.

Come with me.

When you no longer love me, you can leave.

And then?

Then...

Then nothing will matter.

Gertrud, I can't come with you.

I'm not free.

Did you say you're not free?

Yes.

She's older than me.

She's done so much for me. I can't leave her.

She's expecting a baby.

And you've not said a word about this.

I didn't think it would be so serious between us.

What did you think?

I thought you wanted a little affair.

And now the affair is over.

Do you hate me?

I love you.

But it's over.

I'll go away and you will marry.

Gertrud, come with me.

Where to? My flat.

I love you.

But you don't love me.

And I don't want to be yours anymore.

OK...

No, I don't love you.

If I did I'd go with you and not care.

I dream of an ideal woman.

But you are not that woman.

She must be chaste and obey me and be my property.

You are too proud.

I thought it was the pride of a high class lady, but it's worse.

It's your soul which is proud.

Please leave me, Erland.

Gertrud, forgive me.

We mustn't part like this.

Forgive?

If I believed in some God, I'd ask him to protect you.

Don't you believe in God, Gertrud?

And you?

I don't know.

There must be some higher being somewhere.

Otherwise so many things would be inexplicable.

Well...

Now you must go.


A telephone call for you, sir.

Excuse me for a moment.

Of course.


So you're here, Gabriel.

Yes.

To say goodbye. I'm leaving tomorrow.

So soon? Yes.

And you? Are you staying?

Oh, no.

I'll probably leave as well.

I've felt restless for a long time now.

Gertrud...

You're leaving, I'm leaving...

Let us go together.

Let us live together.

Oh, Gabriel, you don't know what you are saying.

Gertrud, have you never, in lonely nights, heard my heart cry out for you?

Yesterday you asked why I came back. It was for you.

To hear your voice once more and look into your eyes.

How strange everything is.

You married, and I thought your life might be as empty as mine now.

Nothing turns out the way one thinks.

No.

No, nothing turns out the way one thinks.

Gertrud, did you ever love him, your husband?

Love him?

I don't know.

I'm thinking of your confession.

Do you remember it?

What do you mean?

No, one can't remember everything one says, but your confession went, "I believe in the pleasures of the flesh, "and the irreparable loneliness of the soul."

It sounds as if it could be me.

I haven't forgotten it.

When you said those words, I thought... our dream of happiness had come true.

You took that dream from me and our life collapsed.

Then I sought the pleasures of the flesh.

Nothing more.

And that's my marriage.

I guessed it.

Gertrud, come with me.

No, Gabriel.

Only solitude is left for me now.

Did you break with that Erland Jansson?

I am nothing to him.

Gertrud...

Please come with me.

How can you believe that we could revive what is dead and buried?

Come, let's sit for a moment, as we did so often in your flat.

Don't think I've forgotten my debt to you.

You taught me to understand the miracle of love.

You changed me into a woman.

With all my heart and senses I belonged to you.

We grew together and became one, with no shame between us.

Love cleansed me of everything low and despicable, and opened my mind to everything good and beautiful.

In you I found a man with whom I could share my life.

I asked myself whether I really deserved so much happiness.

Gertrud, why did you leave me?

Gabriel!

Do you really believe that I left you?

Don't you know that you pushed me away?

Slowly... carefully...

I have never loved anyone else.

I believe you - as much as you were able to love.

But what did I mean to you?

You tired of my love.

When I realised that, I left.

There's truth in what you say.

My work took me from you.

But I would never have broken up with you.

No, you could never break up, and it was a good thing that I could.

It was your work that separated us.

And honour, fame, money, everything that shone.

Love had become a burden for you.

And you wanted the pleasures of the flesh, not love.

It's uncannily true.

Isensedit

And now I'll tell you how I became sure.

It was at a time when you hadn't been working on anything important.

A difficult time for me, too.

Then one day I went to see you.

I began to tidy up, as I had so often done before.


I wanted to leave a note for you.


I knew you had some notepaper.

On one sheet you had drawn my profile and written the life-destroying words:

"Woman's love and man's work - enemies from the start."

That's how I became sure.

And my life was ruined by that piece of paper.

Ruined?

You have got where you wanted.

What one has achieved is nothing.

No, one must choose.

And one always realises that one has lost the only thing worthwhile.

Always.

When I understood it all, my heart grew old.

I felt ashamed and disgusted to be a woman.

And I saw that of all men who become great not one knows or understands love.

They look down on love.

They despise love.

You have become one of them.

And I don't love you.

Gertrud.

My life is the three years you loved me.

That you left to me.

How could you? How could you?

I knew that it would hurt.

And I could tell from your letters that it hurt more than I expected.

You became a great man, but for me you are as cold as stone.

I want red, warm, life blood.

I don't want greatness.


There is no greatness, Gertrud.

The night is great and space is great, endless.

But the earth is small and people are small.

All I remember of my life is my love for you.

You taught me that love is everything.

One shouldn't be alone.

I have lived alone too much.

Man shouldn't be many, man should be two.

Gertrud...

We belong together.

Yes.

Man should be two.

You understand that now, when it is too late.

It's not too late yet.

Come with me.

We'll live in a house by the sea, and no one, nothing, shall make us part.

Nothing except death.

There is no happiness in love.

Love is suffering.

Love is unhappiness.

Gabriel...

There is an empty space within your breast.

I can't help you.

Don't ask anything of me.

Too late and in vain.


The inscription over my life:

In vain.


I'm sorry, it was a long call.

Oh, Gertrud.

How do you feel?

Better, thank you.

The Prime Minister wouldn't let me go.

Well, I must be going, though.

But we're just going to drink champagne.


374.

I wish to speak to Professor Axel Nygren.

Axel? This is Gertrud.

I'll probably come to Paris.

You will help me attend lectures, won't you?

Yes.

Yes, I'd like to join the group you talked about.

I'll write beforehand.

What is your address?

Number 72... Thank you.

Goodbye, Axel. See you soon.

Here you go.

Well, Gertrud, you're just in time.

Champagne? Yes.

I've agreed to accept the ministry.

Congratulations. Thanks.

From me too. Thanks, Gertrud.

But you look so pale, dear.

You said you felt better.

It's nothing. I'm just tired, that's all.

I'll go to bed soon.

You haven't eaten at all today.

I'm not hungry.

As you wish.

Well...

You've become a minister's wife after all.

Yes.

Then I must savour it while it lasts.

It won't be for long.

Yes, Gabriel knows that we are parting.

You've told him?

Yes, we're parting - all three of us.

Let me make a start and say goodbye.

Goodbye, Kanning.

Goodbye, Lidman.

I doubt that we'll meet for a long time.

I suppose not.

Goodbye, Gertrud.

Goodbye, Gabriel.


Good night, Gustav.

I'm going to bed, I'm tired.

Gertrud!

I've thought this over, and I think I've found a solution.

But first tell me...

Has it happened?

What we discussed yesterday.

You know it has.

Yes.

I know.

But, Gertrud, you mustn't leave me.

Stay with me.

Keep your new love, since it means so much to you, but stay with me.

And let us live together as friends.

That's all I ask.

You want me to stay, because you hope the bond which is broken can be remade.

Isn't that it?

Yes.

I'm leaving.

With your new love?

No, alone.

The new love doesn't care about me.

Good Lord!

Is there a man whom you love who doesn't care about you?

I don't understand it.

For his sake I might as well stay here.

But I want to be on my own, that's why I'm leaving.

Good night, Gustav.

I'm so tired.

So tired.

Say...

Say that you have loved me.

Why... must you go on torturing me?

When we met, I had already left my love behind me.

But my senses still lived and my pulse raced.

So there was something between us, something which resembled love.

"Something"? "Resembled"?

Leave!

Leave!

I never want to see you again.

I never want to hear of you again.


Gertrud!

Gertrud!

Gertrud!

There's a Professor Nygren asking to see you.

Axel Nygren.

Axel Nygren?

Show him in. Yes.

So you're calling on my birthday? Yes.

Yes, I've come to present you with my new book, out next week.

What a beautiful book.

Racine...

In memory of our days in Paris.

Thank you, Axel.

Do sit down.

This is where I live, like a hermit.

Forgotten, obliterated... and it suits me.

I need solitude.

Solitude and freedom.

Here's the paper.

Don't forget the kitchen floor.

The kitchen floor, oh yes.

He's the only help I have here.

And how do you spend your time?

I bake my own bread, wash my clothes, darn my stockings.

You have a radio. Yes.

One must follow world affairs.

I wrote to you some time ago.

Yes.

Your letter is here, as you can see.

You might have sent me a few words.

No, Axel.

It isn't proper to type a letter to an old friend.

Forgive me.

Then you still care a little for me?

I have been very fond of you, and I am still very fond of you.

Come.

How long ago did we attend those lectures together?

It must be thirty, forty years ago.

That's how long our friendship has lasted.

A friendship which never turned into love.

But you have been a good friend to me.

You are still young.

Your skin is so pale and smooth.

I will become wrinkled and my skin will turn yellow.

Do you know what I was thinking? No.

Would you like your letters back? Yes, but...

Better than have strangers read those warm and friendly words... from your heart.

Here you are.

Would you mind if I burnt them?

They are yours now - do as you wish.

Have you never thought of writing poetry?

Yes, actually I wrote a poem... when I was sixteen.

Here it is. Shall I read it?

There are three verses. Read it.

Just look at me.

Am I beautiful?

No, but I have loved.

Just look at me.

Am I young?

No, but I have loved.

Just look at me.

Do I live?

No, but I have loved.

Sixteen-year-old Gertrud wrote my gospel of love.

Do you remember your own words?

There is no other life than to love.

Nothing...

Nothing else.

Do you still feel that way?

You don't regret it?

No, I don't regret it.

I still feel that way.

There is nothing else in life other than youth and love, endless tenderness and quiet happiness.

On the brink of the grave I'll look back on my life and say to myself:

I have suffered much and have made many mistakes, but I have loved.

Do you think often about death and the grave?

Yes.

I've already chosen my grave. I will lie under a mulberry tree.

Yesterday I ordered the gravestone and decided on the inscription.

Your name?

No, only two words: amor omnia.

Love is everything.

Yes.

Love is everything.

And I've ordered that grass alone shall grow on my grave.

But in spring, there should be anemones.

Should you pass by one day, pick an anemone and think of me.

Take it as a word of love which was thought, but never spoken.

Now you'd better leave, or we'll end up by going to Paris again.

One day your visit will be just a memory,

like all the other memories that I keep.

Occasionally I revive the memories and become absorbed in them, and I feel as if I stare into a dying fire.

Goodbye, Axel.

Thank you for your visit. Thank you for your book.

Goodbye, Gertrud.