Dmitri Dostoevsky, the great-grandson of Fyodor Dostoevsky, follows in his ancestor’s footsteps. Dmitri hopes his efforts will help him realise his dream of owning a Mercedes.
When Pawel Pawlikowski (Ida, Cold War) learned that Dostoevsky’s only descendant, Dimitri, was still alive he found Dimitri and, after agreeing to pay him a £1000, began filming. Dostoevsky’s Travels reflects one of the pivotal moments in modern history: the fall of the Berlin Wall. The film ruminates on the collapse of the Soviet Union and Russia’s transition to capitalism: Dimitri’s yearning for material goods symbolises Russia’s desire for contact with the West and all it can offer.
He is asked to give a series of lectures about his great grandfather. He knows little about his illustrious ancestor, Dimitri feels burdened by his relative’s status. The film blends real events with fictional elements; perhaps, we wonder, the whole film is a trick, and Dimitri nothing more than a conman.