6.2/10
237
2 user 1 critic

The Serpent's Way (1986)

Ormens väg på hälleberget (original title)
A salesman and his son sexually abuse the generations of women of a poor family as payment for debt. Janni must see his mother, sister, niece and wife all being exploited, and the family grow bigger with the abuser's kids.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
Reviews
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Stina Ekblad ...
Tea Alexisdotter
...
Karl Orsa Markström
Reine Brynolfsson ...
Jani
...
Eva (as Pernilla Östergren)
Tomas von Brömssen ...
Jacob
Pernilla Wahlgren ...
Johanna
Ernst Günther ...
Ol Karlsa
Birgitta Ulfsson ...
Grandma
Johan Widerberg ...
Jani as a child
...
Eva as a child
Åsa Karlin ...
Child (as Åsa Göransson)
Michael Kallaanvaara ...
Child
Calle Carlswärd ...
Child (as Carl Carlswärd)
Amelia Glas-Drake ...
Tilda (as Amelia Glas Drake)
Gun Fors ...
A Woman
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Storyline

A salesman and his son sexually abuse the generations of women of a poor family as payment for debt. Janni must see his mother, sister, niece and wife all being exploited, and the family grow bigger with the abuser's kids.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 December 1986 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Der Weg der Schlange auf dem Felsen  »

Box Office

Gross:

SEK 3,700,222 (Sweden)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

(Fujicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht!
Composed by Franz Gruber
Lyrics by Joseph Mohr
Performed by Pernilla Wahlgren
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Strong story of old-time oppression, sadly mauled by disastrous storytelling and self-parody .
19 November 2011 | by (Åby, Sweden) – See all my reviews

In the 1880's, poverty-struck northern rural Sweden, a widow and her family is tormented by a despicable landholder/merchant who demands that the lease for their house, is to be paid in sexual favors once they can't afford the monetary one.

A very strong, simple basic story of old-time oppression, poverty and evil, is inexplicably mauled by a frustrating editing chopfest-technique (title cards, short take, cut - title cards, short take, cut... etc.) one expects to find only in a butcher shop. It's nearly impossible to connect with any character fully, by this type of storytelling and minimal dialog.

Also, because of the limited and claustrophobic setting, the endlessly repetitive dark and murky misery almost becomes a parody of poor rural folk suffering & drudgery in itself: By the umpteenth time bad guy Skarsgård enters the log cabin and wheezes: "It's time to talk about the lease", I'm actually laughing in the midst of deep tragedy - and THAT is a huge problem for any filmmaker. And do we have to read the book to find out what the fudge exactly happens in the (is it metaphorical?) end? Against this, the memorable performances by Ekblad, Skarsgård and Brynolfsson fight as fruitlessly as their characters against a perpetual winter. Sadly, supposedly a top filmmaker's worst movie.

My tip: for better depictions of my countrymen's gripping fates from this time period, check out Jan Troell's "The emigrants"!

3 out 10 from Ozjeppe.


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