A moving tale of love, obsession and rejection, After the Rehearsal is perhaps Bergman's most self-referential work. Directed during the latter part of his career, the film is, on the surface, a simple tale. However, as is typical of Bergman, the real truth lies buried under a web of complex emotions. The film tells the tale of a rational, exacting and self-controlled theatre director (Erland Josephson), who awakes from reminiscing about a former lover to find that her daughter (Lena Olin) is in his theatre. Jolted into a rare emotional response, the feelings of the director are exposed, and he explains in a painful confessional that any relationship he and she may have is doomed to fail.