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Dream of a Ridiculous Man

Based on Dostoyevsky’s story, this short animated film captures the feeling of a dream.

Directed by Aleksandr Petrov, “The Dream of a Ridiculous Man” (1992) is an animated short film based on the story of the same name by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. The film is narrated by a nameless man who meditates on his absurd existence to the point of suicide. But as he falls asleep, a dream gives him perspective and meaning. “Does it matter whether it is a dream or reality if that dream reveals the truth?” he wonders, while visiting the golden age of humanity and witnessing its fall.

Petrov, best known for winning an Academy Award for his 1999 adaptation of Hemingway's “The Old Man and the Sea,” draws with his fingers on sheets of glass, using brushes only in exceptional cases. Through vivid surreal imagery, the director captures the fleeting essence of a dream and manages to not only tell the story but also convey the author's philosophical ideas .

The film is available in Russian with English subtitles taken from Constance Garnett's translation of the original short story.