Production info

The Riddle of the Sphinx
Загадка сфинкса
Russia, 1985

Directed by Vladimir Pekar (Владимир Пекарь)


Story about a young prince called Amennakht, who desires a sacred book that foretells the future, but which is locked away in a tomb. To access the tomb and get to it, he must solve a riddle posed to him by the Sphinx.

This animated short film by Soviet-era animator Vladimir Pekar (1927-1990) was undoubtedly inspired by a combination of the riddle of the sphinx in Sophocles' "Oedipus Rex" and an ancient Egyptian papyrus from around 1270 BC called 'The Book of Dreams', which was found in the ancient Egyptian workers’ village of Deir el-Medina near the Valley of the Kings. The latter is set on the meaning of many different types of dreams, some of which may foretell the future. It is unknown who the original author of this papyrus was, but it subsequently had several owners who added their names to it. One of these was called Amennakht, which is where filmmaker Vladimir Pekar probably got the name of his protagonist from.

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