Ich Sterbe/I’m Dying/Я умираю
For the last installment of the ‘Realism or Uncle Vanya’ project (Vanya 3) we take a detour; instead of another deconstruction of the play, we tell a different story, the story of Chekhov’s death. The famous writer died in 1904; since then the facts, concerning his death, are told, and retold, in a way that will make him turn in his grave. How did Chekhov die? Why can’t we get a realistic description of what really happened in his death bed, in a hotel room in Germany? How come, a writer that so insisted on describing life the way it is, cannot get a proper description of his death the way it was?
The story of Chekhov’s death is a Rashomon worthy of Kurosawa. The story of his death and the way it was viewed, the subjectivity of the observer, serves as ironic contra point to the so called objectivity of Chekhov’s writing. What is real in the realism of Chekhov’s death, and how speech can describe it is the center of the performance.
Filmcast: Cezary Tomaszewski (Anton P. Chekhov) Irene Coticchio (Olga Knipper) Anna Mendelssohn (Autorin), Otmar Wagner (Doktor Schwoerer), Radek Hewelt (Leo Rabeneck), Justin Poole (Porter)
Voiceovers: Evgeniya Lianskaya, Lena Kvadrat, Wolfgang Weitlaner, Oleg Soulimenko, Justin Poole, Samuel Machto, Olivier Brasselet, Radek Hewelt
Live Cast: Cezary Tomaszewski (Anton P. hCekhov), Anna Mendelssohn (Author)
Live Filming: Yosi Wanunu, Otmar Wagner, Claribel Koss und Michael Strohmann
Composition, Film- and Live Editing: Michael Strohmann
House: Otmar Wagner
Assistant director: Claribel Koss
Film Assistant: Isabella Sedlak
Written and directed by: Yosi Wanunu
Produced by: Kornelia Kilga
Production dates: Nov 25 – 29 2009, brut Künstlerhaus, Vienna