Berlin, 1923. Following the suicide of his brother, American circus acrobat Abel Rosenberg attempts to survive while facing unemployment, depression, alcoholism and the social decay of Germany during the Weimar Republic.
It's early November, 1923. Jewish-American brothers Abel and Max Rosenberg, and Max's ex-wife Manuela Rosenberg had a trapeze act in a circus touring through Europe up until a month ago when a wrist injury to Max sidelined the act. The three remained in Berlin, Germany generally depressed with rampant inflation leading to Abel taking up the bottle to cope. The Jewish are also being blamed for many of society's problems, but Abel fears no reprisal against himself if he does nothing wrong. Abel and Manuela, the latter who ended up living in a rooming house on her own while working in a cabaret, are reunited when Abel has to inform her that Max committed suicide by a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Feeling at a loss both professionally with the act no more and emotionally both due to Max's death, Abel and Manuela turn to each other for comfort and support as the only person the other truly has. Abel's life becomes even more complicated when Police Inspector Bauer, who handled ...Written by
The movie features far fewer ECUs and close-up shots, and more medium shots, than the usual Ingmar Bergman film. 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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