Serpent's Poison | Chicago Reader

Serpent's Poison

A college student in Prague (Ilona Svobodova), still grieving over the death of her mother a year earlier, sets off in search of her father, who works at a drilling camp in the Czech countryside. Overweight and alcoholic, he's gone through a string of girlfriends, and his promises to dry out come to nothing. Director Frantisek Vlacil makes effective use of bleak locales in this 1981 film: the scenes set in mining camp trailers are mostly claustrophobic close-ups, and the snowy exteriors become a metaphor for the father's emptiness. Josef Vinklar is wonderful as the besotted parent. In Czech with subtitles.



  • Frantisek Vlacil


  • Josef Vinklar
  • Karel Hermanek
  • Ferdinand Kruta
  • Jan Hrusinsky
  • Miriam Kantorkova

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