Berlinale: Programme


Film file

Retrospective

Das Schlangenei/The Serpent's Egg

Berlin, November 1923. Inflation has enveloped the poverty-stricken city. A pack of cigarettes costs four billion marks. A dollar will get you a bottle of whisky or a woman. The out-of-work Jewish trapeze artiste Abel Rosenberg (David Carradine) prefers the whisky – he gets drunk every night. One day he finds his brother Max dead in the flat with a bullet in his head. He looks up Max’s ex-wife Manuela (Liv Ullmann) in the cabaret where she works as a singer to tell her about the alleged suicide. There he also runs into Dr. Hans Vergérus (Heinz Bennent), whom he had known in earlier times and had always loathed. At the time Vergérus carried out “scientific” experiments on living cats. Before he died, Max tried to write a letter to Manuela in which he implied that people were being poisoned …

This is the situation when Inspector Bauer (Gert Fröbe) takes over the case. Dr. Vergérus is the prototype of the unscrupulous scientist who is completely convinced that he can save the world through his lethal experiments – a cynical forerunner of the emerging National Socialism. People are suddenly disappearing and everyone is afraid, remarks Inspector Bauer. And somewhere down there in Munich a certain Herr Hitler is preparing a putsch …

Germany (Federal Republic from 1949) / USA 1976/77, 119 min

by

Ingmar Bergman

with

Liv Ullmann
David Carradine
Gert Fröbe