An Animated Adaptation of Franz Kafka’s “A Country Doctor”

Franz Kafka’s short story “A Country Doctor” is a tale about a poor doctor who is called to make an emergency visit to a family with a sick son. But because this is Kafka, the story runs into its share of surreal oddities–from ominous horses to creepy children’s choirs. But Japanese animator Kōji Yamamura perfectly captures the bizarre spirit of Kafka’s writing in this 2007 animated adaptation of the story. Yamamura adapts a semi-European style to the animation, creating a world that’s loyal to Kafka’s vision while also incorporating some of Yamamura’s more bizarre aesthetics. The liquid-y way the characters move combined with the bellowing nature of the narration are just a few examples of the clever touches Yamamura uses to create the atmosphere. But despite the artistic licenses, he stays loyal to Kafka, even ending the film with the same sense of bewilderment as the original. The film is stunning, weird (extremely weird) but utterly captivating.

If you haven’t read Kafka’s short story yet, it’s available to read online.

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