Pilate and Others

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Pilate and Others
Directed by Andrzej Wajda
Produced by Günther Lüdecke
Andrzej Wajda
Written by Andrzej Wajda
Mikhail Bulgakov (book)
Based on The novel
by Mikhail Bulgakov
Starring Wojciech Pszoniak
Jan Kreczmar
Daniel Olbrychski
Music by Johann Sebastian Bach (St Matthew Passion)
Cinematography Igor Luther
Pfeffer Sam
Edited by Joanna Rojewska
Release dates
29 March 1972
Running time
90 minutes
Country West Germany
Language German

Pilate and Others (German: Pilatus und andere - Ein Film für Karfreitag) is a 1972 German drama film directed by Andrzej Wajda, based on the 1967 novel The Master and Margarita by the Soviet writer Mikhail Bulgakov, although it focuses on the parts of the novel set in biblical Jerusalem.

The film has the subtitle Ein Film für Karfreitag (English: A Film for Good Friday) because it was released on March 29, 1972, on the eve of Easter.[1] It was also shown at the Berlin Film Festival on February 15, 2006, when director Andrzej Wajda received a Honorary Golden Bear.


Andrzej Wajda had already received two scripts from Warsaw to make a movie about the Passion but he had rejected both of them. When he had read The Master and Margarita, he decided to use Mikhail Bulgakov’s dialogues for his film.[2]

The shootings were done in Nuremberg, on the ruines of the Third Reich. Wajda used the platform, from which Adolf Hitler held his speeches when he was addressing the Nazi Party in Nuremberg.[3]


In the novel The Master and Margarita by the Russian author Mikhail Bulgakov, on which the film is based, three story lines are interwoven: a satirical story line in which Satan, called Woland here, goes to the city of Moscow in the 30s to deal in hilarious manner with the corrupt lucky ones, bureaucrats and profiteers from the Stalin era, a second one describing the internal struggle fought by Pontius Pilate before, during and after the conviction and execution of Yeshua Ha Nozri (Jesus from Nazareth), and a third one telling the story of the love between the master, an unnamed writer in Moscow during the 30s and his beloved Margarita, which goes to the extreme to save her master. The master has written a novel about Pontius Pilate, and is addressed by the authorities because this was an issue which in the officially atheistic Soviet Union was taboo.[4]

The film Pilate and Others only tells the biblical story of the novel: the story of Pontius Pilate and Yeshua Ha Nozri (Jesus from Nazareth),

Differences from the novel[edit]

The biblical story of the novel is situated in Jersjalajim, but Wajda transferred it to Germany van de 20ste eeuw in the present time. Levi Matvei is a modern TV reporter who makes reports from Golgotha; Yeshua Ha-Nozri passes Way of the Cross on streets of Frankfurt am Main.[5]



Johann Sebastian Bach - Matthäus-Passion

Other screen adaptations of The Master and Margarita[edit]

To be expected
  • Scott Steindorff - The Master and Margarita - 2012 (film)
  • Rinat Timerkaev - Master i Margarita - 2012 (animation film)


  1. ^ Andrzej Wajda. "Pilatus und andere". Andrzej Wajda website. 
  2. ^ Ibid. "Pilatus und andere". 
  3. ^ Jan Vanhellemont. "Pilatus und Andere - Andrzej Wajda". The Master and Margarita website. 
  4. ^ Mikhail Bulgakov (1992). "The Master and Margarita". Penguin Books, London. ISBN 0-14118-828-6. 
  5. ^ Jan Vanhellemont. "Pilatus und Andere - Andrzej Wajda". The Master and Margarita website. 

External links[edit]