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On April 9th 2009, maverick video-maker and self-professed ‘outsider’ Arkhip Ippolitov failed in his bid to commit suicide. The investigation that followed revealed a man on the fringes of sanity who had all but erased his identity in favour of living out his life as a fictional character; a character doomed from the outset. Most curious however is that the process of his breakdown was documented and released in the form of the award-winning motion picture ‘Goliadkin’.

This documentary, produced in association with The Institute of Film and Video Studies, Copenhagen, attempts to discern fact from myth and make sensible the question: ‘Who is Arkhip Ippolitov?’

“It is ironic that he [Ippolitov] chose to appropriate the character of Dostoevsky’s Goliadkin as his own, for this is a character driven to desperation by the strange and sudden appearance of his Doppelganger. It is doubly curious when we consider the circumstances of his suicide, his towering resentment toward the success of his movie and the tragic codicil he sought to execute against himself. But what is by far most uncanny is that this movie is a record of his self-destruction and that we, the audience, are capable of taking pleasure in the spectacle.”

Tomas Blauveldt, Video-Critic and Lecturer, Department of Unscientific Research The Institute of Film and Video Studies, Copenhagen