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„SHOD” PROJECT BOOK, COMIC BOOK INDEPENDENT FEATURE MOVIE Keywords: World War II, magic, time, atom bomb, mathematicians, love, God, mystery, Lviv (Lwow), Poland, history, martyrology, psychology of relationship, philosophy, ethical values, surreal, fantasy

idea&story: Marat Dakunin comic graphics: Dariusz Rygiel project site: www.szod.pl

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Very brief synopsis of “Shod” ideas This is a story, but the story splits and stops in it. A conflict is really a longing for a conflict, change, emotion, making the most of life and living with a brave heart being faithful to identity. Lvov café, the 30s of the 20th century. A pianist plays „Por Una Cabeza” tango in a dignified manner. LEO, thirty-year-old scientist, mathematician, sits over a pile of small pieces of paper which are covered with formulas. He calculates Faust’s formula. Six years earlier, he was wandering light-heartedly together with two of his friends: ULAM, who was also a mathematician and BOGOLUBOV, a chess player and bon vivant. They conversed till late hours, they considered the world’s and human’s mysteries, they picked up girls and made stupid jokes. Three years earlier, when he was head over heels in love with EWA he was also the happiest man in the world. Now everything is gone. Their relationship has become lifeless and Leo lives his dream of everlasting love. He has lost joy found before in everyday relationships with Ewa; he is conscience-stricken, he starts to live only thanks to his memories. When he meets rabbi HOROWITZ (Wandering Jew), who came to Poland from Australia, he considers him to be an eccentric and a gambler (salesman of decisiveness), since the old Jew; just for fun and taking advantage of mysterious methods, outplays city’s casinos for small amounts. In the course of time, rabbi becomes Leo’s mentor, he initiates him into arcane of Cabala; he inspires him to mathematically prove that time, change, and sequence are just illusions. Leo wants to stop time, create a formula for everlasting passion; he wants to join passion and conscious choice in a twinkling of an eye and forever in eternity. He wants to join rational choice with an irrational automatism (heart’s voice). Since Leo is incapable of forcing himself to do anything, he wants to gain a primary state of being in love back – he can live only with passion of his heart. There are heavy clouds of impending war above Europe. Leo finds the Formula; he tests it in a mysterious experiment, which disturbs space-time continuum. The line of time splits and starts to run in two, alternative versions. In one of them Leo becomes a spendthrift who constantly chases novelty and who is condemned to „hop, skip, and jump” to another passions; he parts with Ewa, drinks, and wanders with strumpets. In the second version, he chooses a stability of values, he marries Ewa, but the true joy of life has died in him. The war breaks out. Leo – a spendthrift, engages in conspiracy, an activity of the underground; he gains desired adrenalin, unawareness of tomorrow. Leo – a staid husband and father collaborates with an enemy, occupier to ensure safety to his family. Leo’s friend, Ulam, who has emigrated to USA, works in Los Alamos on atomic and thermonuclear bomb. Oppenheimer notes in his notebook: Now I am become death, 2


the destroyer of worlds. Ulam writes: the fact that several signs drawn on a board can change a course of human matters is a source of incessant astonishment for me. One day Leo and Leo meet face to face, as enemies. In the heat of skirmish Leo kills his alter ego. There is the atomic mushroom exploding in the sky.The character of Leo merges into one again, he wakes up in Zona. Time transition. Chernobyl. Prypiat – an abandoned city, from which the citizens escaped after the nuclear power plant’s breakdown within 5 minutes, leaving books and newspapers on pages which they opened in a moment of the alarm; the frozen emptiness of city. Rabbi Horowitz warned Leo one day: “Shod” (which means devastation) is created when in the name of God Shaddai (which means omnipotent) one single letter, a point is missing. Reconciling eternity with the twinkling of an eye. When time stops, the idea lasts forever. After all, a movement, a change – is life. Stillness, stability – means death. Leo must close a circle of time that he has interrupted; he must join both ends, then he gets back both himself and Ewa. And he saves the world.

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Shod (polish title: Szod)