Relentlessly, Herz Frank confronts the spectator with the moral problems involved in the death penalty. In The Last Judgment he enters into a dialogue with Valerij Dolgov, a man who has been sentenced to death for having committed a double murder. He does not give an inexhaustible enumeration of motives that could have led up to the killing. Frank sketches a picture of Dolgov's past in which a loveless youth, an exceptionally strong desire for leadership, a very ambitious nature and his involvement in the black market have given shape to his character. Frank is not so much interested in the murder-case on its own as he is in the human being that, as a consequence, finds itself in an inhuman situation. The photography unscrupulously fixes Dolgov's position: the camera hardly ever lets go of the prisoner who is trying to find out the reason for his act. The deeply human doubts, emotions and utterances of the man under sentence of death in their turn grasp the viewers. Herz Frank and Valerij Dolgov force us, in the first place, to decide on what stand to take in the discussion on capital punishment and, in the second place, to reflect on the meaning of the notions of being a human and humanity. IDFA
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