Pilate and Others

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 International Film Festival on February 15, 2006, during which director Andrzej Wajda received a Honorary Golden Bear.


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

Filming took place in Nuremberg, on the ruins of the Third Reich. Wajda even used the platform from which Adolf Hitler held his speeches when 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 in which Satan, going by the name of Woland, appears in the Moscow of the 1930s to deal in a hilarious manner with the corrupt lucky ones--the bureaucrats, toadies, poets, and profiteers--in the Stalinist era, a second one describing the internal struggles of Pontius Pilate before, during and after the conviction and crucifixion of Yeshua Ha Nozri (Jesus from Nazareth), and a third telling the story of the love between the "Master," an unnamed writer in Moscow during the 1930s and his beloved Margarita, who goes to extreme lengths to save her beloved. The Master has written a novel about Pontius Pilate, and is persecuted by the authorities and the Soviet literary establishment in the officially and militantly atheist Soviet Union.[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

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

To be expected


  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.
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