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Fatalism is a philosophy of people who ignore life's problems and hassles yet they expect no negative results or consequences from their interactions. Fatalistic people rely on fate and whatever will be will be. In the movie, Everything Is Illuminated, there are many examples of Russian fatalism.

Jonathan meets Alex and his grandfather who believes that he is blind. Alex knows that his grandfather really isn't blind yet he does not seek medical help or mental help to figure out why it is he thinks he is blind.

Jonathan is looking for the city of Trachimbrod and becomes upset when he cannot find it yet Alex and his grandfather seem to think that they will trip over it due to sheer dumb luck and are not surprised when a million things go wrong and they don't seem to find this one city. Fatalism has been summarized as the idea of “whatever I'm sure I'll get lucky”, and not finding the city does not seem to faze Alex and his grandfather at all.


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When they finally do find the city of Trachimbrod they learn that the people were unconcerned with the government and communism and they just pretended like the Russians weren't there and lived their lives letting fate happen to them.

Alex's grandfather becomes more and more depressed and cried all the time and Alex pretends not to notice because he doesn't want to deal with his problems or his sadness. Alex prefers to pretend it's just not happening. The grandfather commits suicide.

Russian fatalism is an attitude that people are removed from their own future and really have no control over it so why bother to worry about it. Everything Is Illuminated has many examples of Russian fatalism.