Between Dream and Reality: Michail Bulgakov in Literature and Cinema

Sara Tongiani


The great masterpiece of Michail Bulgakov, Master i Margarita, represents an hypertext by which writers, literary critics and directors are still inspired. This paper focuses on the interconnection of languages and media characterizing the shift from the Bulgakov’s troubled page to the big-screen. In particular, the Wajda’s film (Pilatus und andere, 1972) and the Bortko’s tv-series (Master i Margarita, 2005) appear deeply different for both the character of hypertext of the reference novel and the historical and political context that the two authors point out.

Wajda complies with the Bulgakov’s point: both of them tell about the trial suffered by Jeshua through the Pilate’s experience. The interpretation of the Polish director is enriched by the frequent references to cultural, social and political conflicts of the last century Europe.

On the other hand, Bortko follows the Bulgakov’s novel page after page. The tv-series by Bortko becomes a kind of choral work in which the viewer can choose between the characters and different points of view.

Thus, Wajda interprets the Bulgakov work, while Bortko translates the words of the novel in artificial television images. 


A. Wajda; Pilate; M. Bulgakov; Master; Fiction; Power; Interpretation

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