Who Was Kafka? (2005)





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A certified insomniac, the celebrated belletrist Franz Kafka whiled away the hours between dusk and dawn authoring tomes - tomes whose dreamlike, often nightmarish qualities (a human transformed into a giant cockroach, an unwitting fellow trapped in a labyrinthine bureaucratic web) were inextricable from the circumstances in which their progenitor created them. Naturally, these facts continue to spin a web of intrigue and mythos around the original author; per its title, the pseudo-documentary Who Was Kafka? travels beyond these enigmas to revisit Kafka himself. The program uses a Meeting of the Minds-style setup, where actors portray Franz Kafka's closest acquaintances, are posed incisive questions about the author and then answer in the real life figures' own documented words. Each character describes his or her relationship with the writer (and observations of Kafka) in colorful and revealing detail. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi
Documentary , Drama , Special Interest
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Sami Frey
as Narrator
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Audience Reviews for Who Was Kafka?

To get to the basic essence of Franz Kafka, this fairly interesting documentary uses actors to portray Kafka's friends and loved ones who offer testimony on his life which has similarly been done better elsewhere on other subjects. While the movie shows his old haunts in Prague and later Berlin, it makes no mention of the tumultuous events happening around him like World War I and the dissolution of a once flourishing empire. Regardless, the portrait we get of Kafka here is one mostly of depression due to his perpetual ill health. Knowing that he will probably die quite young(which he does), he spends all of his free time writing to get everything down before he does leave this world. When it comes to the source of his literary inspiration, it is not from that same sense of mortality but from working in an insurance company which explains everything.

Walter M.
Walter M.

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