Berlinale: Programme

Film file


Pisma mjortwowo tscheloweka

Letters from a Dead Man

Briefe eines toten Mannes

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The apocalypse has arrived. The accidental launch of a missile triggers a nuclear world war. In the basement of a museum, a handful of survivors await transfer to the “main bunker”. Among them is computer scientist and Nobel laureate Dr Larsen. In discussions with his dying wife and letters to his missing son, he reflects on the atomic firestorm and on the future of a humanity forced to live underground. In his excursions to a nearby church, which shelters traumatised children, and to a field hospital, the gruesome reality of a world reduced to radioactive rubble is revealed ... A former assistant to Andrei Tarkovsky, Lopushansky uses cheerless images, tinted yellow or blue, to evoke a nightmarish vision of post-nuclear society, in which public order can only be maintained with rigid, compulsory rules. The survivors’ discussions examine the role science played in the human catastrophe, and the ethical consequences of that. According to the director, the answer print of the film was struck on the same day as the nuclear accident at Chernobyl.

Konstantin Lopuschanski

USSR 1986


87 min · Colour · 35 mm

Rating R16


Rolan Bykow
Jossif Ryklin
Viktor Michailow
Alexander Sabinin
Swetlana Smirnowa
Wazlaw Dworshezki
Nora Grjakalowa


Konstantin Lopuschanski
Konstantin Lopuschanski, Wjatscheslaw Rybakow, Boris Strugazki
Director of Photography
Nikolai Pokopzew
T. Pulinoi
Alexander Schurbin
Leonid Gawrischenko
Art Director
Jelena Amschinskaja, Viktor Iwanow
Special Effects
E. Filaretow, E. I. Krinski
Raissa Proskurjakowa

Produced by


Copy: British Film Institute, London