Adapted from the Soviet play of the same name by Nikolay Erdman, this 1996 film from writer, director, and AIDS activist Gregg Bordowitz is a provocative comment on why a person might hide his or her complicated feelings in the wake of a revolution. Though the setting is Moscow in 1932, the story draws from Bordowitz’s own struggles in the aftermath of the AIDS crisis that dominated the 1980s and early 1990s, during which he was an early participant in ACT UP and from which his early artistic work sprung. Here, the protagonist (Lothaire Bluteau) half-heartedly threatens suicide, only to find himself yanked in multiple directions: to be a symbol of optimism, a martyr, or a political pawn, depending on who wants what. “Life is wonderful, comrade!” a peer exclaims, with the attendant behest: “Don’t think, comrade, work!” In fact, this absurdist satire is a rapierlike manifestation of Bordowitz’s thinking, crackling with original wit, and it would serve the viewer well to pay close attention. In many ways, and especially in the darkening hours of late capitalism, not much has changed. Distributed by Video Data Bank and presented in collaboration with the Art Institute of Chicago’s exhibition “Gregg Bordowitz: I Wanna Be Well.”