What does this 1962 Orson Welles film, based upon the incomplete Franz Kafka novel, tell us in its utilization of a nightmarish story? How does the illogic of transitions mimic nightmares? Do any of the characters surrounding and including protaganist Joseph K, truly know what is going on? Are they all in the same uncomprehending state with regard to their places in the world? How does Joseph K’s ‘throwness’ into his world reflect our own status, according to existentialist thought? How does this 1914 novel forecast elements of the legal systems of later 20th century totalitarian states in Germany and Soviet Russia? What does the fable of the man sitting in front of the doorway asking for entrance to ‘the Law’ represent? Does the Law represent God? Does the film present us with a meditation on the problem of evil, pain and suffering being allowed by God, and man’s inability to find justification or rationale for it? How does Welles symbolize human ignorance in the closing of the film, using the parable of the man at the gates of the Law watching the door close forbidding his entrance as he dies?

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