Picks and Pans Review: The Suicide

updated 04/06/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/06/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Nikolai Erdman

Forbidden since the 1930s, The Suicide is now enjoying a popular run at Moscow's Theater of Satire. The quiet hero decides on suicide after a fruitless search for a good job, but he's quickly surrounded by people who want him to make his death a political protest. One wants him to protest oppression of the intellectuals; another, repression of religion; yet another, prohibition of free trade. In one striking scene the hero, realizing they can't punish a dead man, phones the Kremlin to declare he doesn't like Karl Marx's teachings. In the end he decides against suicide, whispering to those in power, "Just allow us to visit each other and say how bad things are. Because when we say how bad things are, we already feel better."

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