Prestuplenie i nakazanie (1970)

This Russian adaptation of Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment paces itself like the book, taking ample time inside protagonist Rodya Raskolnikov's head. It is done in black and white and the lack of colour adds the only other real joyless feature to the film beyond the glorious performances by the actors - who are unknown to the west.

Raskolnikov is pained by the conflict of his philosophical conclusion, that great men can accomplish whatever they like and should live without guilt and with impunity by virtue of the fact that they are great! He can not justify his philosophy because in his mind he himself is greater than his ignorant peers, but he and his mother and sister live in abject poverty. He decides to live out his philosophy by murdering a pawn broker, someone he views as a leech of society. The story plays out from here demonstrating his struggle to mute his conscience.


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