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Crime and Punishment

The overriding impression this performance makes on the viewer is that of communing with truth. This is achieved not only by the scenography, realistic in every detail, or the "peeping Tom" formula it underlines. (...) When the actors are as close to the audience as in this production, this practically rules out any "cheating", any recourse to purely formal tricks and technical solutions. Here all fraud would be visible at once (...). The role of Raskolnikov is played by Jerzy Radziwillowicz, the memorable prince Myshkin from Nastassja Filipovna and also the hero of The Man of Marble and The Man of Iron, a perfectionist actor, deeply intelligent and sensitive. The judge Porfiry Petrovich is played by Jerzy Stuhr, one of the most versatile Polish actors. Both have experience working not only with Andrzej Wajda, but also in playing Dostoyevskian roles (...) and have given a rare performance based on a total, almost biological identification with their characters, far exceeding the usual borderline separating the actor from his part. At a certain moment of the play (and, of course, the novel), Raskolnikov says: "Who has conscience, let him sufer. This will be his punishment". These word are a kind of key to Wajda's production, showing suffering which originates in man's moral awareness.

Maciej Karpinski,
"The Theatre of Andrzej Wajda", Warszawa 1991, p.117-118.



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