Dead Man's Letters

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Dead Man's Letters
Письма мёртвого человека
Dead Man's Letters film.jpg
Dead Man's Letters film poster
Directed by Konstantin Lopushansky
Written by Konstantin Lopushansky
Vyacheslav Rybakov
Boris Strugatsky
Starring Rolan Bykov
Iosif Ryklin
Distributed by Lenfilm
Release dates
16 September 1987 (Toronto Film Festival)
Running time
88 minutes
Country Soviet Union
Language Russian

Dead Man's Letters (Russian: Письма мёртвого человека, translit. Pisma myortvogo cheloveka), also known as Letters from a Dead Man, is a 1986 Soviet science fiction film directed by Konstantin Lopushansky and produced by Lenfilm studios.


The plot is set in a town after a nuclear war, which was caused by a computer error and the failure of the operator to prevent the missile launch — he noticed the mistake, but choked on coffee and was not able to shout respective commands in time. The town is destroyed and polluted with radioactive elements. Police curfew is established in the immediate vicinity and only healthy people are selected for admittance to the underground bunkers. The main character, played by Rolan Bykov, is a Nobel Prize in Physics laureate, who tries to survive and helps a small group of children and adults survive by staying with them in the basement of the former museum of history. He survives by writing letters in his mind to his son Eric, though it is obvious that they will never be read. The main character is very disappointed that science has led to such a disaster. Many die from the radiation. He escapes the safe bunker, returning to the dying abandoned children, taking care of them for some time and giving them hope. Eventually he dies as well. The film ends with children wandering through the uninhabited landscape, their future uncertain.

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