A lonely woman recalls her first love thirteen years prior during a brief summer vacation.
A ballet dancer, Marie (Maj-Britt Nilsson), who is at the height (and thus sees the end) of her powers as a prima ballerina, reads the diary of her now dead boyfriend and memories of a summer spent in the archipelago come flooding back. Under the dreamlike pull of memory impulsively revisits the island of her youth and, in flashbacks, her first and only love. Bergman's breakthrough masterpiece is an almost magical fusion of sunstruck elegiac love poem and dark suggestion. The latter looks ahead to The Seventh Seal and its games with death, and to Sawdust and Tinsel in its depiction of a performer struggling to see her life clearly through a mirror of humiliation. But Marie, an early Bergman heroine suffused (like the film itself) with music and dance, finally will have none of that.