Can the acceptance of the proposal to make a million dollars for just several minutes, if the person will agree to take publicly a million dollar bill into the mouth (with his/her teeth) be considered a humiliating insult, which can be qualified as fascist mistreatment of human being? Or can it be felt as nothing more than a joke or even opportunity to make a million? How many Americans today could enjoy the taste of a million dollar bill under their tongue?

Bergman, it seems, is suggesting that to do something like this marks an important psychological change in Rosenberg’s soul – him becoming a person with fascist sensibility. Is this Bergman’s idea (that a joke like this is fascist) universal in its application? Can it be applied to our country – US in 21st century?

Abel Rosenberg was buying at the bar counter a bottle of whiskey for one billion marks, and just for the pleasure to publicly humiliate the barman he offered him to take the banknote with his mouth, what the poor guy obediently did while noticeably trying to overcome his shame.

Who today in US will refuse to take a million dollar bill with his/her mouth? How many percent of the population will agree and how many people will refuse? Let’s look again at the still from the film – the couple to the right of Abel Rosenberg is obviously entertained and watching the scene with interest (may be even betting between themselves – will he take it or not?), but the elder guy to the left seems displeased, although his grimace can be exaggerated because of dance hall’s over-excited atmosphere. Majority of the people present here are occupied with their own pleasures. How many people today, like this couple (to the right from David Carradine), will feel amused and entertained by observing humiliation through money? May be, some today’s young people will passionately volunteer to participate in a media gala-game based on Abel Rosenberg-like offer, ready to grab the banknotes with their teeth, and envelop them with their saliva in order to make money-money-money?

Posted on Jan 25 2011 – Ingmar Bergman’s “The Serpent’s Egg” (1977) – From (the Alive) Human Soul into a Compulsive Socio-Political Action – Bergman’s Analysis of the Fascization of Human being by Acting-Out Politics

Posted on Dec 4 2014 – “The Serpent’s Egg” (SE) – 1976, by Ingmar Bergman by Acting-Out Politics