Istoria comunismului, povestită pentru bolnavii mintal, de Matei Visniec


The action takes place at the Central Hospital for Mental Disorders in Moscow in 1953, several weeks before the death of Josef Stalin. A writer is sent into the hospital to use “art & literature” to redeem the mentally ill by telling them the history of Communism in a way that they can understand it (and be saved by the utopian vision of the future). The writer begins his story (very funny the more one knows about how Communism was practiced within the Soviet bloc) as a subversive storyteller, using childlike language to recount the events, with all their absurdities articulated. The deeper the writer progresses into his storytelling, the deeper he gets caught in the bizarre characters and events taking place within the “hospital”. There are partisans lurking in every corner, including a secret cabal of “authentic revolutionaries” masquerading as mad (typical Soviet political prisoners) and meeting within hospital grounds unbeknownst to the hysterical doctors and nurses, fully invested in the cult of Stalin worship that the others reject. When Stalin’s death is announced, he is given a choice to either join the group of “patients” or the group of “doctors” and for fear of everyone, he chooses the doctors, but general havoc ensues as all the lives propped up by the “story of Communism” collapse. In the final scene, Stalin himself wanders by outside the building windows – as ghost or a mental patient?

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  • Premiul pentru dramaturgie, Uniunea Scriitorilor din România, Bucuresti, 2002


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