Ingmar Bergman's The Serpent's Egg follows a week in the life of Abel Rosenberg, an out-of-work American circus acrobat living in poverty-stricken Berlin following Germany's defeat in World...
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Ingmar Bergman's The Serpent's Egg follows a week in the life of Abel Rosenberg, an out-of-work American circus acrobat living in poverty-stricken Berlin following Germany's defeat in World War I. When his brother commits suicide, Abel seeks refuge in the apartment of an old acquaintance Professor Veregus. Desperate to make ends meet in the war-ravaged city, Abel takes a job in Veregus' clinic, where he discovers the horrific truth behind the work of the strangely beneficent professor and unlocks the chilling mystery that drove his brother to kill himself. Written by
Though set in 1923 in pre-Nazi Germany, the film was still selected for inclusion for discussion in Annette Insdorf's book, "Indelible Shadows: Film and the Holocaust" (1982), as the film reflects the rise of Fascism / Nazism in 20th Century Germany. See more »
The Nazi-looking thugs that are beating up people are wearing Model 1943 German army caps and 1940s style clothing. This film is supposed to take place in the 1920s. See more »
[explains the upcoming social and political developments in Germany to Abel Rosenberg]
It's like a serpent's egg. Through the thin membranes, you can clearly discern the already perfect reptile.
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In November of 1923, in a Berlin where a pack of cigarettes costs four million marks and people has lost faith in the present and future days, the alcoholic and unemployed American acrobat Abel Rosenberg (David Carradine) loses his brother Max, who has just committed suicide after feeling depressed for a period. Seeing the modifications in the behavior of people, but without clearly understanding the reasons, Abel moves to the room of his former sister-in-law Manuela Rosenberg (Liv Ullmann), who works in a cabaret in the night and in a whorehouse in the morning. Together, they move to a small apartment near to the clinic of their acquaintance, Professor Hans Vergerus (Heinz Bennent), who gives a job opportunity to Abel in his clinic. While working in the place, Abel discloses the evil truth behind the researches of Hans.
"The Serpent's Egg" is an underrated, but also excellent work of Master Ingmar Bergman, one of my favorite directors. In the environment of a Germany with hyperinflation, where people in a moment exchanged marks in weight so fast the currency lost its value; lack of job opportunities, with massive unemployment; the great people and nation humiliated and hopeless, paying for the loss of World War I, Bergman presents his view for the seeds of the Nazism. He introduces the evil character of Professor Hans Vergerus and his sick experiments, and the common person Abel Rosenberg, who sees the modifications in a country where he has problems with communication, since he does not speak German, but can not understand. Unfortunately this movie has not been released on DVD in Brazil, and my VHS has a bad quality of image, impairing the magnificent cinematography, especially in the nocturnal shots. The cool David Carradine is in the best moment of his career and is amazing in the role of Abel Rosenberg. My vote is nine.
Title (Brazil): "O Ovo da Serpente" ("The Serpent's Egg")
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