Renowned Russian theater director Valery Fokin (director of the Meyerhold Center in Moscow) has transformed Kafka's The Metamorphosis into an eerie and stunningly beautiful film. ...Yevgeny Mironov's physical mimicry is phenomenal; his transformation, without benefit of special effects, is completely repellent and utterly plausible. After his family and employer discover his transformation, Gregor is left to wander the walls and ceiling of his room. Because of his lost income, his family is forced to take in lodgers, whom Fokin recasts as Orthodox Jews.

Much has been written about Kafka's Judaism – including his own insights in his scathing Letter to His Father – and its influence on both the form of his writing and his fascination with otherness and suffering. Kafka's masterful story and Fokin's film are both universal in appeal, but the Festival's Jewish context highlights the mystical and political subtleties of these works. The Metamorphosis is a breathtakingly shot, arrestingly intelligent adaptation of one of the great stories of modern literature.