Crime & Punishment
"Life is in ourselves and not in the external. To be a human being among human beings, and remain one forever, not to become depressed, and not to falter - this is what life is, herein lies its task."
Based on the novel by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Adapted & Directed by Connie Stephens
Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov, a former student, spends his days up in a filthy fifth-storey room in St Petersburg plotting the murder of an old pawn-broker woman. He has convinced himself that he is a rare kind of Superman (in the Nietzschen sense), a select individual born with a unique right to commit any manner of crime for the betterment of Humanity. Trapped in the kind of insidious self-reverence which has caused him to withdraw from friends, family and the future he was working towards, he has become increasingly lost in his head and is no longer able to perceive clear boundaries between dreams and reality.
Half mad, he commits the crime, with awful consequences - consequences he finds himself unable to step beyond. To his surprise, the murder(s) turns out to be a violation of his inner sense of moral justice. Hope of redemption lies with the shrewd police inspector Porfiry Petrovich, the prostitute, Sonya, his friend Razumikhin and his sister, Dounia. Unable to justify the murder of 'louses', Raskolnikov must find a way to reconnect with others and begin the difficult journey out of spiritual bankruptcy through denial, confession, self-renunciation and, ultimately, redemption.
Eternally relevant and challenging, Crime and Punishment is one of the most gripping, claustrophobic novels ever written. Dostoyevsky asks each of us to examine ourselves and the struggle we all experience between our imagined intentions and their actuality once thought turns to action, encouraging us to remember our humanity via the inevitable battle to take responsibility for what we have done.
Adapted by Connie Stephens from Fyodor Dostoyevsky's classic novel and produced on a shoestring, shooting took place over 6 days in February/March 2015 in the dustiest garret you could possibly imagine. You can watch the whole film here, but please be advised that there is some brutal verbal description, profanity and offensive content.