The plot of Nikolai Erdman’s THE SUICIDE, centers around a young, unemployed man, Semyon, desperate enough to contemplate ending it all. As soon as he declares his will to die he finds himself surrounded by a variety of characters begging him to kill himself as a gesture for their cause. The Intelligentsia, represented by Aristarch, persuade him to die “on behalf of all Russian thinking men”. Father Yelpidy, meanwhile, insists that he kill himself “to turn the wayward millions back to God.” Others representing big business, the arts, the workers, even romantics plead with the hapless Semyon to die with dignity on their behalf.
Since just the prospect of death can give an individual the freedom to act and speak as he wishes, the life of a commoner turns into a tragic comedy.
Presented in Russian with English subtitles.