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[VIDEO] Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky Told in a Beautifully Animated Film by Piotr Dumala

“…It’s a form of “destructive animation.” Each image exists only long enough to be photographed and then painted over…”

Piotr Dumala

Polish filmmaker/animator Piotr Dumala

From our inbox: Tim Shey contributes this  item to our Crime and Punishment, or “Zbrodnia i Kara” division. Don’t forget to visit Open Culture for more…

In this darkly poetic animation, the Polish filmmaker Piotr Dumala offers a highly personal interpretation of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s classic novel, Crime and Punishment. “My film is like a dream,” Dumala said in 2007. “It is as if someone has read Crime and Punishment and then had a dream about it.”

[Piotr Dumala is among the artists and animators represented in the Anthology of Polish Animated Film, available at Amazon]

Dumala’s version takes place only at night. The story is told expressionistically, without dialogue and with an altered flow of time. The complex and multi-layered novel is pared down to a few central characters and events: In the Russian city of Saint Petersburg, a young man named Raskolnikov lies in his dark room brooding over a bloody crime…

…He murders an old woman with whom he had pawned his watch. When her younger sister comes home unexpectedly, he murders her too. He confesses to a saintly young woman named Sonya. The sinister eavesdropper Svidrigailov knows of Raskolnikov’s love for Sonya, and of his sins. In the end Svidrigailov takes a pistol and “goes to America” by killing himself.

Dumala completed his half-hour film of Crime and Punishment (Zbrodnia i Kara) in 2000, after three years of work. He has a unique method: He takes a white plaster panel and coats the surface with glue. He then paints over it with a dark color and lets it dry. He uses a knife and sandpaper to engrave his image, creating a hatching effect that gives it a feeling of texture. To add darkness to a light area, he adds more paint with a brush.

It’s a form of “destructive animation.” Each image exists only long enough to be photographed and then painted over to create a sense of movement….

Read the rest…

Open Culture

If you appreciate Dumala’s take on Dostoyevsky, you won’t want to miss his 1992 treatment of Franz Kafka

Dumala’s films are housed in Open Culture‘s list of Free Movies Online. Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment appears in Free Audio Books and Free eBooks collections.

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4 Comments on “[VIDEO] Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky Told in a Beautifully Animated Film by Piotr Dumala”

  1. […] Pundit from another Planet “…It’s a form of “destructive animation.” Each image exists only […]

  2. Tim Shey says:

    Thank you for posting this. I hope more people watch Dumala’s film. It is quite a visual experience.

    “Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky”
    http://hitchhikeamerica.wordpress.com/2012/09/26/tolstoy-and-dostoyevsky-philip-yancey/

  3. […] unfortunately, though I have found several online articles that discuss this quote. Here is one: https://punditfromanotherplanet.com/2014/02/05/video-crime-and-punishment-by-fyodor-dostoyevsky-told-… I have a sneaking suspicion, however, that the quote could be found somewhere in this article: […]


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