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The Pendulum, The Pit and Hope

Švankmajer's second adaptation of the work of Edgar Allan Poe, in which a prisoner is forced to undergo trials of torture.

Animation & Artists Moving Image 1983 15 mins Not rated

Director: Jan Svankmajer


In this black and white and overwhelmingly tactile universe, a faceless and impersonal inquisitor approaches a trapped man. Although the film is clearly set in the distant past, at the time of production (1983) the Czech authorities assumed it to be a direct attack on the regime resulting in a ban.

See also Jan Švankmajer's other short films, The Ossuary, The Fall of the House of Usher and The Castle of Otranto.