Ingmar Bergman's drama-about-a-drama, originally made for Swedish television in 1969, asks questions about obscenity, censorship and the role of the artist. Three actors from a theatre troupe that has had its latest production, 'The Rite', banned after being charged with obscenity are each interrogated privately by a provincial magistrate. The trio are incestuously involved: Thea (Ingrid Thulin) is married to Hans (Gunnar Bjornstrand) but is having an affair with Sebastian (Anders Ek), who killed her former husband in a crime of passion. The judge, playing on the insecurities and vanity of the three actors, brings to light their deepest, darkest secrets. Bergman deliberately does not reveal the obscene nature of the troupe's production, leaving the viewer to imagine for themselves what they consider obscenity to be.