Travels in Wonderland
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Travels in Wonderland is an engaging and charming memoir by a fascinating woman. Ulla Ryghe came of age during the Second World War in a neutral Sweden, placed between occupied Norway and Denmark, and thus got her first taste of adventure. From birth, curiosity was bred in her bone, and it made her an explorer; a woman in the male-dominated worlds of newspapers and film companies. She started to travel, got a foothold in Cyprus and bought a house there — the Bitter Lemon House which inspired the Lawrence Durrell novel. During the 1960s she became Ingmar Bergman’s film editor and Travels in Wonderland contains a rare insider’s account of his daily work routine. Ryghe, in her quest to learn about the world, left her secure job. She fell in love with Montreal while working at the NFB; helped take film schools in Sweden and Australia from chaos to functionality; and taught her inventive script-editing course in Singapore and Brunei. Naturally the book interrogates many aspects of filmmaking, but make no mistake, there is much more — people, relationships, gardens — all inundated with Ryghe’s boundless curiosity, humour and intelligence.